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Syracuse’s National Veterans Resource Center taking shape

By Eric Reinhardt


Construction workers continue work on the National Veterans Resource Center (NVRC) at Syracuse University. The upcoming 115,000-square-foot center should formally open in early 2020. Syracuse University officials on May 15 gave local media members a tour of the construction site. (ERIC REINHARDT / BJNN)

SYRACUSE — Construction work on the upcoming 115,000-square-foot National Veterans Resource Center (NVRC) at Syracuse University is well underway with a timeline that stretches through much of this calendar year.

Rochester–based LeChase Construction Services, LLC, which operates an office at 609 Erie Boulevard West in Syracuse, is serving as the construction manager on the project.

The endeavor has a total cost of 

$62.5 million. New York City–based SHoP Architects handled the design work on the project.

Syracuse University officials on May 15 gave local media members a tour of the construction site which is bordered by Waverly Avenue, South Crouse Avenue, and Marshall Street near the Syracuse campus. The NVRC should be ready to open in early 2020, Syracuse University and LeChase officials said.

Despite some “challenges” with winter-weather conditions, the construction effort “is going very well,” Michael Wooden, project superintendent with LeChase Construction, said in speaking with reporters at the construction site on May 15.

He noted that crews have started working on the building’s exterior façade. 

“It’s going to be a pretty cool building,” said Wooden.

More than 30 subcontractors are involved in the project, Jennifer Miglioratti, media contact for LeChase Construction Services, said in an email reply to a CNYBJ inquiry.

Some of the subcontractors included Mattessich Iron, LLC of Memphis, N.Y., which is doing some of the steel work on the project and Huen Electric of DeWitt, which is handling the project’s electrical work.

The NVRC will “leverage a public-private sector partnership model to nurture academic research, actionable programming, and collaborative thought leadership positioned to impact veterans and their families” on campus, in New York, and across the nation. 

Its five-year impact will include generating $300 million in regional economic activity and creating more than 300 direct and indirect jobs, Syracuse University contends. 

Personnel will begin moving into this building in December with a formal opening sometime in early spring 2020, Michael Haynie, vice chancellor for strategic initiatives and innovation and founder and executive director of the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF), said in addressing reporters during the May 15 media event.

In discussing the upcoming building’s characteristics, Haynie called it “the most accessible building that Syracuse University has ever built.” 

The entire building will have ramps for accessibility and its auditorium won’t have any steps. 

“Each floor will have tactile maps for folks with sight impairments so they cannot just get to the building but also understand what is represented on each one of those floors,” said Haynie.

The NVRC’s tenants will include Syracuse’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families; Office of Veteran and Military Affairs; Army Reserve Officer Training Corps; Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps; Student Veterans Resource Center; Regional Veterans Resource Center; U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs “Vet-Success on Campus;” National Center of Excellence for Veteran Business Ownership; and flex office space for local, county and state government veterans representatives and community-based veterans’ organizations.

The venue will also include a research center, a veteran business outreach center and accelerator, and a regional cultural center and museum.        

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