The Veterans Affairs buildings are places that are dedicated to the care of some of the most deserving members of our society – the veterans. Sadly, many of these buildings across America have fallen into a state of disrepair, neglect, and decay. This is despite the fact that the VA, as an organization, receives billions of dollars in funding each year from the government. The state of these buildings is a tragedy, and we must work hard to address this unacceptable situation. In this article, we will take a closer look at why these buildings have been allowed to decay and what we can do to fix this problem.
The Reasons For Decline
The first reason why so many VA buildings are in such a terrible state is because of the lack of funding. One of the Veterans Affairs’ primary responsibilities is to manage and maintain the buildings in which veterans receive their care. Unfortunately, due to the high cost of healthcare, the VA is often underfunded and struggles to keep up with the maintenance required to preserve these buildings. As a result, these buildings suffer from critical issues like leaking roofs, faulty plumbing, and serious air conditioning problems.
The second reason is bureaucracy. The VA is a complex organization with a long chain of command. As a result, decisions can take a long time to make, and the organization may lack the agility needed to tackle the challenges that these buildings face. From getting approval for simple repairs to implementing large-scale renovation projects, the bureaucratic process can be arduous and time-consuming. This creates delays in scheduling repairs and maintenance work, which only exacerbates the problem.
The third reason is neglect. Unfortunately, some VA facilities, especially those located in rural areas, are often overlooked by decision-makers at the organization, possibly due to their location and small number of patients. These facilities are often not given the same priority as larger, urban facilities, and may not receive the same level of funding or attention. This neglect leads to a slow but steady decline – and, as a result, these buildings continue to decay.
The fourth and final reason is the lack of accountability. Despite receiving billions of dollars in funding each year, some VA facilities fail to meet the standards of quality care mandated by the organization. Yet, despite the stunning levels of neglect in some facilities, those responsible are rarely held accountable. As a result, there is little effective follow-up on maintenance and repair work. This means that facilities can easily fall into states of disrepair and neglect.
A Recent VA Refresh in Colorado
CertaPro Painters® of Highlands Ranch, CO was contracted to help with a large interior painting project for the Veterans Affairs Clinic Building in Colorado Springs, CO. The scope of the project included interior painting for all three stories, nearly 220,000 sq ft. and painting for 400 door frames. The project took 7 weeks to complete, and all work was done between 3:30pm and midnight to minimize disruption of day to day operations of the building. All three floors including offices, clinical spaces, and common areas were painted.
The building was only about 7 years old when the project was done, however due to the heavy traffic the building sees every day the interior surfaces were showing signs of wear. Some of the interior walls were in need of drywall repairs, which was included within the scope of the project. This project was also done during the COVID-19 pandemic and protocols were followed to ensure that workers and visitors to the facility were safe.
For more information, read about the project here:
Lets Make a Difference
The Veterans Affairs buildings should be a source of pride for us all. They should reflect our gratitude and appreciation for the incredible sacrifices made by our veterans, yet, alas, they have become monuments to incompetence, bureaucracy, and neglect. Clearly, something needs to be done to address this tragedy. It is time for our government and society to come together to ensure that VA facilities are maintained to a high standard. We must work to hold those responsible accountable, increase funding, reduce bureaucracy, and most importantly, prioritize the care of our veterans. The decay of VA buildings must be halted, and the buildings must be restored to a state of dignity befitting the brave men and women who have served our great nation. We owe our veterans much – and it all starts by ensuring they receive the care and respect they deserve.