By Tamas Mondovics
Hillsborough County officials announced the plans to build a brand new resource center to care for the needs of local veterans.
According to Hillsborough County Consumer and Veterans Services Director Frank Strom, the proposed 8,000-sq.-ft., Veterans Resource Center is to be located at Veterans Memorial Park, 3602 N. U.S. Highway 301, and will serve as the new home for the County’s Consumer and Veterans Services.
“The location will serve as an all-in-one stop for our veterans,” Strom said. “Following their visit at the center, they can enjoy the park, its memorials and museums.”
The County’s Veterans Services is currently assisting local veterans and their families in accessing federal, state and local benefits and supports veteran’s activities in the county as it connects them to resources.
With more than 94,000 veterans, Hillsborough County is listed as the second largest veteran population in Florida.
Veterans Services assists an average of 28,000 clients each year through personal and telephone interviews, outreach, community presentations, in-home visits and correspondence.
Construction on the new center is expected to begin by the end of 2016, and to be completed in summer 2017. The $1.8 million project is being funded by $300,000 in County Capital Improvement Program funds, and a $1.5 million grant from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.
When complete, the new facility will include a multi-purpose room for a number of uses such as training and special events, but if funds become available future plans for the center include a phased addition of 14,000 to 16,000 sq. ft. for educational use and museum exhibits.
Construction is anticipated to take place on weekdays between 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Work will involve heavy equipment and excavation, it will generate normal construction noise.
Access to Veterans Memorial Park will be maintained throughout construction, although in some areas, closures within the park may be necessary.
For the safety of the workers, pedestrians and other motorists, are asked to observe all traffic control measures. All areas affected by the construction will be restored.
For more information about the project, visit HCFLGov.net/CountyProjects under the County Building Projects link.