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VA proposes to build medical building, parking lot on Fort Boise parade grounds

Future of Downtown

The US Department of Veterans Affairs could build a new building and parking lot on its Boise campus. The new projects would take up a portion of a large open space that was formerly the Fort Boise parade grounds.

The VA said the two projects will change “the appearance and usability of the facility parade grounds” in a release.

A new multi-story building will add about 22,000 square feet of space to the campus. The VA says it will add facilities for primary care and outpatient mental health services.

A new parking lot would add about 125 spaces to serve the new building

Project design already started, and the VA hopes to start construction in  2022.

Grounds date to 1800s

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The federal agency said it will work with the Idaho State Historic Preservation Office to “ensure the new projects will minimize impact to the site’s historic nature.”

The parade grounds date to the 1880s when the current VA site was home to Fort Boise. A 1973 document outlining the history of the area tried to give a flavor of the fort during its use as a military outpost.

“Ah, the hustle and bustle of the Army Post – the drills and parades on the broad parade grounds – the pomp and display of the Cavalry… with Revile to greet each busy day and Taps to salute the end of honest labor. No man regretted his ‘Boise Tour’ and the transfers-out departed with lagging step and mournful heart.”

The public can weigh in on the project now through October 21st by emailing project engineer Mike Quinn and michael.quinn2@va.gov.  Comments should be submitted by October 21st of this year.

The VA campus and adjoining James A. McClure Federal Building are federal property and are not inside Boise city limits. The project will not go through the city’s building or planning processes.

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Don Day
Don is the founder and editor of BoiseDev. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow.

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