Costs overruns at a VA hospital being built in Aurora, Colorado, have former officials in charge heading for the exits, according to the AP.
The medical facility near Denver, which is scheduled to open in early 2018, is now expected to cost $1.7 billion, about three times its original budget.
One of the officials in charge was about to be dismissed and the other was being investigated, according to the Deputy Secretary of the Veterans Affairs Department, Sloan Gibson, the AP says. But both officials retired before the VA could take any action. Now the VA says everyone involved in the overruns has left the department.
In a deep examination of how the cost of the hospital in Aurora spiraled out of control, The Denver Post called it “the biggest construction failure in VA history” and “a national calamity.” Despite repeated red flags and warnings that the project would bust its $604 million budget (almost twice the initial $328 million estimate), the Post said, the VA pushed forward with a design that includes a lobby the size of two city blocks and 45 elevators. The paper called the Colorado congressional delegation often “impotent” in making sure the project didn’t run off the rails.