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Ground Broken On New Butler VA Facility

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Ground was broken on a new VA facility in Butler County today.

The new facility is a big deal for veterans in the area. The center will be brand new and filled with state-of-the-art equipment, including an advanced water system – designed to prevent the outbreak of Legionnaire's disease.

The facility will be located on Evans City Road, basically adjacent to the current VA campus.

It will be a 168,000-square-foot center that offers a wide range of services like behavioral health care, specialty and primary care.

There will also be new services offered like hydrotherapy.

Also, officials wanted to make sure this new building has the most advanced water sterilization system on the market.

Back in December, VA Butler discovered legionella bacteria in its water system during routine testing. No patients were sickened.

The legionnaire's outbreak in the VA Pittsburgh facility sickened several patients, five of whom died.

The director of the VA Butler says safety is a no. 1 priority.

"This is a great thing for the community, for the township and for all of our veterans," Director of VA Butler healthcare John Gennaro said. "And that's what we're here to celebrate – is the veterans experience."

Crews have already started moving dirt on the project.

Construction is expected to wrap up in the summer of 2014 – the center should open in 2015.

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