The internal VA documents suggested planning and construction for a new facility could take five years and cost more than $70 million.
Calls to the VA to determine an actual cost and location were not immediately returned Wednesday.
But in a press release, the VA said demolition will begin in fall 2021 with a projected completion date of fall 2022.
The decision wasn’t easy, but needed, according to Veterans Integrated Service Network 7 Interim Director Joe Battle.
“As caretakers of our nation’s heroes, it’s our responsibility to take decisive action when appropriate. We are working diligently to quickly create and execute a plan to rebuild and address the Atlanta VA’s long-term care bed needs and are committed to ensuring there are no delays in deciding the best way forward,” Battle said in a statement.
The ant situation came to a head in September 2019.
Laquna Ross and her father, Joel Marrable, who was an Air Force veteran before he died at the Atlanta VA Medical Center’s Eagles' Nest Community Living Center in September 2019. Ross discovered her father covered with ant bites shortly before his death.
That is when the daughter of Eagles’ Nest patient Richard Marrable, a cancer patient, discovered him covered in more than 100 bites. Marrable died a few days later.
An investigation found staff had known since at least July 2019 about the infestation in multiple rooms, and at least five veterans had been bitten. Gnats were also a problem and a 2018 review of the facility by the VA’s Office of the Inspector General rated Eagles’ Nest two stars out of five.