Ardmore Veterans Cemetery receives $7.3 million grant from VA
The Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration recently announced that they have awarded a $7,355,436 grant to the state of Oklahoma in order to build a state veterans cemetery in Ardmore. The cemetery will be located near the Ardmore Veterans Center and will provide space for more than 25,000 burial accommodations for veterans and their eligible family members once complete.
According to Sen. Frank Simpson, R-Springer, the VA National Cemetery Administration preliminarily earmarked the funds for the cemetery last year. After performing an evaluation of both the location and the plans, the association allocated the grant funding last month.
Simpson said he will be meeting with the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs next week to determine when construction will begin and create a timeline for the project. While the date of the official groundbreaking has yet to be determined, Simpson said the cemetery will be built in phases.
“The whole process is going to take about three phases of expansion,” he said. “Eventually it could have space for up to 25,000 veterans, but we don’t need all of that right now. Phase one will have accommodations for around 2,100 veterans as well as taking care of all of the administrative buildings and maintenance facilities.”
Simpson said the grant will fund all of the construction for the first phase. According to a press release from the VA National Cemetery Administration, this will include the construction of more than 1,100 pre-placed crypts, 432 cremains grave sites and 600 columbarium arches. It will also provide the funding for the main entrance, a memorial walkway, an assembly area, an administration building, a maintenance facility, and all of the supporting infrastructure needed for the cemetery to expand.