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The Future of the American Experiment is in Your Hands
Thursday, 02 February 2012 12:03

Lake Nona VA Project Disaster. Featured

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In April of 2010 I began writing about the Lake Nona VA Hospital that had just started construction.  We in the Building Trades tried to warn VA compliance officers that because contractors on the project were hiring untrained and unskilled workers, the project was in danger of being sub-standard.  Unfortunately, it is even worse than we had feared.


In April of 2010 I first wrote about the Lake Nona VA project being built that would service veterans in Central Florida. Our concerns then as now, have been that contractors were cheating workers out of the Davis-Bacon wages that they were entitled to by federal law. In short, contractors were breaking the law and any construction workers worth their salt would not allow themselves to be cheated thereby leaving the hospital to be built by unskilled and untrained workers. In fact the general contractor was found to be hiring and protecting undocumented workers as evidenced by an ICE raid where Brasfield & Gorrie supervisors were hiding those undocumented workers on the jobsite.

Since very few skilled workers were hired for this project in the first place, this led to a shoddy and poorly built facility which in turn will degrade the level of care that our veterans will receive when the hospital is finally opened. It was scheduled to open this year but VA officials have tentatively rescheduled for summer 2013 "at the earliest". We in the Building Trades had and continue to try and inform VA officials on the jobsite about what is happening under their very noses. VA project managers are tasked with all compliance matters on the job, but from the very start, did not seem interested in acting on the information we had provided them.

Now over 2 years into the project, the hospital is way behind schedule with reports of shoddy workmanship that has resulted in massive flooding inside the building. Sitting water has created mold throughout the building, including inside ventalation systems. Once the hospital becomes operational, any patients housed there will be exposed to the mold spores flowing throught the ventalation system. Is this how the contractors and the VA project managers show their respect and gratitude towards veterans who sacrificed so much for America?

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