New DVA facility could help
Emory's ongoing efforts to expand child care options for employees and students
could benefit from a planned regional office building by the Department
of Veteran's Affairs (DVA).
Emory's child care crunch
Jeff Sage, chief of facilities management with Atlanta's DVA office, said
that efforts are being made to include a child care center in the planned
office building. Such a center would be available to employees of the adjacent
Veteran's Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) and to the Emory employees who are
housed there. Whether a child care center will be included will not be known
until the project design is completed in September.
The project is the result of a unique public/private partnership that will
allow the DVA to have a new facility for less money ($7 per square foot)
and in a much shorter period of time than if the federal government built
the project on its own. A private developer for the project should be selected
by April or May, Sage said. Although the building will be privately owned
initially, it will revert to DVA ownership after 35 years.
The new building will allow the DVA to provide "one-stop shopping"
for veterans, who will be able to receive both medical treatment and a full
range of benefits services in one location. This goal was first articulated
by DVA Commissioner Pete Wheeler in 1994, explained Sage.
Approximately 500 employees from the DVA and other veteran's organizations
will occupy about half the building, while private businesses will occupy
the other half. Although the design has not been finalized, Sage expects
the building to be six or seven stories and contain 300,000 to 400,000 square
feet. The project's final budget has not yet been determined. The building
will be constructed on Clairmont Road adjacent to the new parking lot just
north of the VAMC. A new traffic signal has been installed at the parking
A study will be conducted to assess the project's impact on Clairmont Road
traffic. The new study will likely confirm the results of earlier studies,
said Sage, who added that that the new traffic light at the VAMC lot should
help alleviate traffic problems for VAMC staff and Emory employees who park
The project design is expected to be completed by September, with groundbreaking
likely to follow in October or November. The building should be completed
about a year later, Sage said.