The Veterans Affairs' medical center in Reno will get $192.4 million for renovation and expansion - the most of any single VA facility in the country.
Work on the federally funded project is expected to begin in September 2017 and be finished within three years, said Arlee Fisher, the facility planner for the VA Sierra Nevada Health Care System.
Besides being the largest single construction project in the 2016-17 VA budget, it is the largest project on the Reno campus since the bed tower for the hospital was built in 1998. The original building at the site was constructed in 1939.
The project calls for renovating about 100,000 square feet of mostly administrative space and adding 165,000 square feet of new outpatient care services, including primary care, an eye clinic and a lab. The building also will be reinforced to better handle earthquakes.
Republican Sen. Dean Heller, a member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, has been pushing for the project for several years, said spokesman Neal Patel.
"First and foremost, Sen. Heller's priority with the project is the safety of the employees and the patients receiving care at this facility," Patel said.
The facility's workload has increased 3 to 4 percent each year. And a study by the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada predicts Washoe County's population will increase by 13.5 percent between 2015 and 2019 as major economic development projects progress, including the Tesla Gigafactory to make batteries for the electric car company.