New 14x34 foot veterans center office. Now 36 foot

Don Baer

Staff member
The veterans center where I volunteer is an extension of American Legion post 97 in San Tan Valley. We have 2 service officers who work out of the post and we need to have privacy for many reasons not the least of which is a little thing called HIPPA. For those who are not familiar with the function of a service officer we assist veteran and their families with their claims with the VA. The claims might be for anything from service connected disability to education benefits, widows pensions or even long term care.

To accomplish this we put in for a grant through the county for the veterans center to put in a temporary office building. The grant is actually funded by the local indian tribe (the AK-CHIN Indian Nation as part of their agreement with the county and state to fund certain worthwhile projects in community. 6 months ago one of our board members wrote a grant for $40,000 to build this office. We have received word that we won the grant so I'll use this thread take you all on the journey of this project. It's nice to see some of the Casino money going back into the community.

Presently we are waiting for all of the T's dotted and the eye crossed.

presently we are looking at the following floor plan.

The building will be 14 x 34 overall
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right now we are looking at the building being prefabbed by one of three "Shed builders" this is the style we are looking at.
presently we are looking at something like this

the cost for this delivered and leveled on our property is $18000. It includes a plywood floor, pressure treated 2 x 8 floor joist and a full attic with 2x 8 ceiling joists.

we will need to insulate and finish the inside. Since it is a temporary building there will be no plumbing. The AC will be from a 3 zone mini split. Power will be from a 8-4 SO cord plugged into one of our other buildings. We might later ask for a small grant to do solar.
Here is an example of how the interior would be when it is delivered. The "Loft" would run the whole length of the building and includes 2x8 joists and 5/8 plywood, this would give us a nice storage area if we were to put a drop down ladder in the center area. We would insulate the entire inside including the loft and put in two interior walls for the offices, wire the entire building, drywall the walls. We would also do all the wiring but since it is a temporary we will not need permits although we will follow code.
Looks like a great office building, even if considered temporary. I don't suppose the funds would stretch to a deck along the entrance side with a roof over it? Just someplace for drivers and accompanying friends to sit and wait and chat while their vet-friends are being looked after inside?
Just someplace for drivers and accompanying friends to sit and wait and chat while their vet-friends are being looked after inside?
they can go into the Post itself and it has a porch they can sit it the'd like, they can even get coffee, water or a soda or use the rest rooms. It's just 30 feet away.
There are special door hinges available that swing the door open and completely out of the way for the full width of the door frame opening. Normal door hinges leave the open door blocking about 3" of the door frame width. Installing these requires some significant cutting of the hinge pockets beyond what is needed for the normal hinges. This is quite a project when modifying an existing door and frame, but wouldn't be near as difficult with a new installation.

I have a 6'2" 300 lb 53 year old son with muscular dystrophy and I have needed to make this hinge modification for him. It was quite a project to do to this 75 year old house with solid wood paneled walls in this area, but it was well worth it for him and his 700 lb fully electric wheelchair. Although these wheelchairs are a blessing for those who need them, navigating one through a just barely large enough door frame is even difficult for a healthy person. Those who need these wheelchairs can have significant difficulty doing it. In my opinion, a 42" door, or one with a semi stationary hinged piece in an even larger opening would be better. I wish I could do this with two of my door openings for him, but structurally it is cost prohibitive for this house.

Just a Little update, The County Board of supervisors have approved the project so the funding will be coming through any day now. The post Commander and I met with EPCOR, the folks who actually own the property and the head Honcho gave us a verbal go ahead so we will set up a meeting to get it in writing. This monday night we have a board meeting for the veterans center board (which I am a member) and someone (probably me) will be assigned the task of getting the written permission. In the meantime I have been appointed to plan the interior buildout. WE will bee to construct the two interior wall etc etc. . Lots to do. I am hopeful that we can order the building before Christmas so It would arrive before the end of Jan. and we can do the build out in Feb/March time frame and be in the building by April 1.
Well I was hoping to get this thing off the ground before Christmas but it's going to be sometime in Jan before I can order the building from the builder. I have finalised the design and am now just waiting for funding.

This is what I have come up with
The Budget for this portion of the build was $18000.00 to I am under budget
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I have been working on the interior improvements and it looks like this will also be under budget. Which is good because I still need to take care of the upgrade to make everything ADA compliant.
The bottom of the door jam is about 8" above grade so I will need a 4 foot square landing, 8 inches high with a hand rail and an 8 foot ramp 36" wide. I am planning on buying the ramp, it's just under $1000 and we will build the 4 foot square "front porch".
and so it begins... we received the $40K check for the project and I along with another of the Veterans Center Officer will meet with the builder rep to sign the paper work and pay the deposit for the building. Not much to show but nice to know we are finally getting this thing started. The last I heard we were 4 weeks from the time of order till they deliver the building shell. I am special ordering a ADA approved commercial door for the builder to install on the building. I will be going through the permit phase as the building is being built so that as soon as the building is delivered on site we can start doing the interior work.