Ed Harries, Facility Administrator
The long awaited Nursing Home for over 40% of the 285,000 Tennessee veterans has now completed construction.
In 2002, the Knox County Mayor began the discussion with retired veterans and members from the congressional delegation about the possibilities of making the dream to have a state veterans' nursing home located in East Tennessee a reality;
In the 2003 budget, the Knox County Mayor successfully rallied the support of the Knox County Commission to appropriate $6 million to cover the state's portion of the match funding for a federal designation. Additionally, Knox County identified county owned property to transfer to the state for this project;
The federal formula for becoming a designated site is that the state was required to put up 35% of the money and the federal government would appropriate 65% of the funds;
A team of Knoxvillians consisting of members of the Mayor's staff, Public Building Authority, and veteran leadership traveled to Nashville to present the proposed site to the State Veteran's Home Board of Director and the Commissioner of Veteran Services;
After waiting for several months the Mayor's Office was notified in January 2004 that Knoxville had been designated as the location for a Veterans' Nursing Home in East Tennessee;
January 28, 2004, US. Rep. John J. Duncan Jr., announced the allocation of more than $10.6 million in federal funding for the construction of a new veterans' nursing home in Knox County. The funds were released in fiscal year 2005;
The new facility is located just off Pellissippi Parkway near West Bridge Business Park and opened October 24, 2006 and was named in honor of former State Senator Ben Atchley.