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AURORA, CO-The Department of Veterans Affairs selected the joint venture H+L/SOM/CRA/SA MIRO to design the new Veteran’s Administration Hospital at Fitzsimons in Aurora. Three Colorado firms, H+L Architecture, Cator, Ruma & Associates Co., and SA Miro, joined with Skidmore Owings & Merrill LLP of Chicago, to form a joint venture that will be responsible for the design of the new medical project.

H+L is currently the project architect on The Children’s Hospital of Denver, which is moving to Fitzsimons, the former Army Hospital being developed into a medical center and biotech park. H+L also designed the Anschutz Pavilions at Fitzsimons, Exempla Lutheran Medical Center and Saint Joseph Hospital, and Littleton and Porter Adventist Hospitals in Colorado.

SOM has a 50-year history in health and science projects and a successful relationship with the Department of Veteran’s Affairs. Cator, Ruma & Associates Co., has been providing electrical consulting engineering services for more than 40 years. SA Miro Inc. is a civil and structural engineering firm that specializes in complex projects.

Rob Davidson, president of H+L Architecture, is the healthcare principal-in-charge and architect Mark S. Williams, associate principal with H+L Architecture, is the project manager. Peter G. Ellis, design partner with SOM, is the project’s design lead.

“For more than 40 years, H+L’s primary focus has been designing projects that better communities, from hospitals to schools,” Davidson says. “This joint venture represents the best and the brightest in the industry.”

SOM will relocate some team members to Denver for the duration of the project to ensure the highest level of collaboration. “In our experience, VA Hospitals are community centers for veterans and their families,” Ellis says “This is an extremely important project that will assure a level of care comparable to any private sector health center.”

The project includes a new tower with ambulatory care, acute inpatient medicine, surgery, psychiatry and other services. This facility will replace the current VA Medical Center. According to the VA, the exact scope of work and site location for the new facility is still being determined.

The VA has said it needs at least 38 acres for the site. The deal almost died when the VA believed it could not find enough ground for the hospital, but Colorado officials and politicians convinced the VA it could accommodate the new facility.

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