By Ian Thompson
TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE — Patients who use David Grant Medical Center and their families will get two smaller Fisher Houses instead of one big one once construction starts next year, according to David Coker, president of the Fisher House Foundation.
The Fisher Foundation plans to build two 5,000-square-foot houses next to its present house, instead of a single 10,000-square-foot house as originally planned.
Fisher Houses are located next to nearly every major American military and veterans hospital in the country and overseas. They provide a home away from home for the families of military members and veterans being treated at the hospitals.
Travis’ 5,000-square-foot Fisher House has been nearly always full since it opened in January 1994, having served more than 3,200 guests. It can accommodate up to seven families or 16 people at a time.
The base has been on track for a second Fisher House for more than a year with both on-base and community groups raising money for the new house.
Earlier this year, examination of the site prompted the foundation’s architect to determine that two 5,000-square-foot Fisher Houses would fit better and look nicer than a single, large 10,000-square-foot structure standing next to the present house.
“It will create a sense of balance and not dwarf the present house,” Coker said.
The Fisher Foundation is spending $28 million to build five houses this year, four in the United States and one in England. The foundation is working with Travis to get approval of the site plans for the two houses.
Travis’ Fisher Houses are two of 30 houses in the plans for construction. Four of these sites are located in California – with Palo Alto, Long Beach and Camp Pendleton the other three. Coker said he hopes to see site work start at Travis in late spring or early summer 2013.
“We are mindful of the need (at Travis) and we are looking forward to getting on site,” Coker said.
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