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FORT WORTH-In an early salute to Veterans Day, BremnerDuke Healthcare Real Estate today broke ground on a $50-million clinic for the US Department of Veterans Affairs North Texas Health Care System. The 239,256-sf regional facility is penciled for completion in January 2011.

Preliminary site work started recently on the 24-acre tract at 2031 SE Loop 820, an Interstate 20-fronting piece of land at the intersection with Campus Drive. Foundations and utilities will go in by year’s end, with vertical work to be under way by late spring.

Today’s groundbreaking agenda featured Dennis Brink, administrator of the VA’s Fort Worth outpatient clinic; Joseph Dalpiaz, director of the VA’s North Texas healthcare system; and Jim Bremner, president of Indianapolis-based BremnerDuke. Also attending the commemorative start was Kathleen Hicks, mayor pro tem of Fort Worth, and state and local congressional leaders.

Charles Vogt, BremnerDuke’s senior vice president and chief strategy officer, tells GlobeSt.com that the clinic’s interior design is still being fine-tuned, but pledges it will be a “personal” setting in a “state-of-the-art facility that will be comfortable for families and veterans.” The VA signed a 20-year lease in June for the project, which is being touted as its largest leased facility of its type in its network.

The VA North Texas Health Care System services 16 counties in North Texas. The new clinic has been designed with the capability of supporting 165,238 annual patient visits, the projected traffic in 2025. In contrast, the existing 48,691-sf clinic at 300 W. Rosedale St. supports 45,000 annual visits.

Austin-based Page Southerland Page and F&S Partners Inc. of Dallas designed the clinic. It will include surgical and recovery rooms with an energy monitoring system to ensure it meets the federal government’s design excellence mandate. The design will include LEED Silver elements, but isn’t required to be LEED certified.

The Fort Worth clinic is BremnerDuke’s first build-to-suit clinic for the VA. “We are honored to be part of it. Our goal is to show them proper stewardship of how we care for our veterans, construction and how we care about doing it on budget and on time,” Vogt says. “These are the people we should be serving in honor of their serving us.”

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