Engineering students visit LOUVAMC construction site

Engineering students from the University of Louisville had the opportunity to visit the site of the new Louisville VA Medical Center where they were given an overview of the project as well as a site tour April 13.

More than 20 seniors and juniors in the Construction Materials course taught at the University of Louisville took part in the field trip.
Dr. Tharshikka Vickneswaran, assistant professor for the University of Louisville’s Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, said the students’ visit to the construction site would provide them with a better understanding of how what they
have been learning can be applied after graduation.

“This course mainly talks about major construction materials used. Therefore, visiting the site would help the students to connect with the things that they learned in class to real-world applications,” she said. “Visiting a construction site like this will help the students to understand their role in this society as civil engineers. Also, they will know how to face challenges on a construction site.”
Engineering student Caroline Watkins said the presentation about the project was useful in learning what goes into such a large construction mission.

“The most useful part of the visit was the overview presentation that informed us of the progress and design of the site. It was also great to see a visual made of what the building and site will look like once it is finished,” she shared. “There is a lot of work still left but it was great to see the structure being built. I also found it interesting that they planned the layout according to the neighbors. For example, they will place the emergency section and trash near the highway, so it doesn’t disrupt the neighbors.”

Vickneswaran said she was appreciative of the VA team’s willingness to host the group and share details of what goes into such a large project.

“I love the way how the team accommodated us on this visit. It was interesting to see how the challenges of a vertical construction project in the middle of an urban area were overcome through different strategies,” she said. Carl Lindsay, lead quality assurance representative for the Louisville VA Medical Center mega-project, who led the tour ended it by sharing some of his enthusiasm
for being a part of the project.

“When you graduate and are thinking of where you would like to work or what you would like to do, keep the Corps of Engineers in mind. We are always looking for engineers, and this is a project that will make a difference in so many lives. I’m proud to work on a project that will benefit so many and provide care for my fellow veterans. Our veterans deserve the best care possible, and I hope my little part in this will help ensure that’s available to the thousands of veterans that will walk through those doors in the future.”

The $900 million project includes the construction of a new 910,115 square-foot medical center, parking structures, a 42,205 square-foot central utility plant, roadways, sidewalks, and other site improvements.

The new 104-bed, full-service hospital will provide world-class healthcare for more than 45,000 Veterans in Kentucky and Southern Indiana by integrating modern patient-centered care concepts to provide the best possible care for Veterans. In addition, to specifically address the needs of women Veterans, the new hospital will include a Women’s Health Clinic with four Patient Aligned Care Teams.

The project designed by URS-Smith Group Joint Venture is being constructed by Walsh-Turner Joint Venture II, Chicago, Illinois.
Construction is anticipated to be complete in 2026.

To learn more about the project visit: www.va.gov/louisville-health-care/programs/new-robley-rex-va-medical-center.