Progress on Veterans Cemetery construction at Ft. Harrison - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Progress on Veterans Cemetery construction at Ft. Harrison

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Over the summer the State of Montana Veterans Cemetery at Fort Harrison in Helena received a grant to make improvements, and now the construction is well underway, Joe Moeller is at Fort Harrison with the details.

Construction is underway here at the VA Cemetery at Fort Harrison visitors are soon going to see a whole new look. There are a total of three VA cemeteries in the State of Montana, and this one at Fort Harrison recently received a grant for over $1.7 million to update and make additions that were a long time awaited.

Montana VA Administrator Joe Foster explains "The way it works to obtain the VA's grant for a state veteran cemetery be it a new one or an expansion such as we have right now, is you put in a pre-application, we did that roughly ten years ago."

After waiting for their turn on the Federal VA priority list over the years the cemetery at Fort Harrison got the call that it was their turn to receive the grant.

Foster continued "Approximately in July of this year the final grant was authorized by Secretary Shinseki and construction start approximately a month ago."

Now a month and a half into construction, one can visualize the additions starting to come together.

"The site you see behind us is the location of the committal shelter which is going to be where hold all of our interments, currently we do all interments grave side so in the winter time it can be rather trying for families with the wind and the snow etc" says Cemetery Program Manager Tom Hall. 

The columbarium and committal shelter addition, roads, parking, and the entrance facade are all things that are included in the improvements. The project is looked over by engineers here in Montana and from the Federal VA, and in the midst of the federal government shutdown, this project is not affected at all.

Now the total days of construction here at the cemetery is 150 days and then the completion date is expected to be in January, weather permitted of course.

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