Plans to build new Jacobetti veterans home good news

Coming off of a very busy Independence Day weekend, our local veterans have even more cause for celebration.

Michigan Veteran Homes has released details of its fiscal year 2022-23 budget, which includes $34.2 million in state funding for building a new state veterans home to replace the D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans at 425 Fisher St. in Marquette.

Some changes are expected.

“It will not be in the same spot that it is in right now for a couple reasons,” MVH Executive Director Anne Zerbe told The Mining Journal. “One, we want to continue serving people while they’re doing construction, and if we tried to build in the same location, that obviously wouldn’t work.

“Also, the new design would be a single-story building, which we know is probably going to be better for a lot of our folks.”

That design, Zerbe said, would better serve people with limited mobility.

She said MVH is in the initial stages of trying to identify an appropriate site for the new home, which would include conversations with officials from the city of Marquette and Marquette Township to see what’s available.

Total estimated project cost for the new home is $97.6 million, funded with $34.2 million in state funding and an anticipated 65% match of $63.6 million in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, MVH said in the release.

The Jacobetti building dates back to the 1950s and was the site of the former St. Mary’s Hospital, she said.

“The new construction kind of reflects a difference in how we’re approaching long-term care, which is providing a more homelike environment,” said Zerbe, who pointed out that the former hospital had a more institutional feel. Also, everyone will have their own room and bathroom, with more light and space, in the new home.

“Each of those rooms has its own window, things of that nature, which we know is important when it comes to getting natural light, having access to the outdoors,” Zerbe said.

This is welcome news for our community, and it seems to have come at a fitting time. Our veterans deserve the very best, and we are glad to see these funds being put toward a great new facility for them.

“The building on Fisher Street has been a home to Upper Peninsula veterans for 41 years, with the staff and volunteers making it a true home. Now that tradition can continue in a new building with a modern design that provides five-star services with the same loving care,” Brad Slagle, retired administrator for the D.J. Jacobetti Home and current board member for Michigan Veteran Homes, stated in a news release.


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