MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) – Governor Gretchen Whitmer paid a visit to the longstanding D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans on Wednesday as part of the first day of her trip to the Upper Peninsula. Along with State Senator Ed McBroom, Whitmer spoke about early plans to build a new veterans’ home in Marquette in the coming years.
The newly-passed Michigan state budget included $34.2 million allocated for the construction of a new location to replace the Jacobetti, which was which was constructed in the 1950’s. Whitmer says the new location will follow similar design philosophies to two veterans’ homes completed downstate in recent years.
“Now we don’t know exactly where it’s gonna go yet. That work is being done right now,” Whitmer said. “But the new home will replace the Jacobetti building, and we’re going to replace it with a modern complex with a neighborhood design to make it feel and look more like a home in a community. It’ll match the design of the homes both in Grand Rapids and in Macomb County. And it will house 100 or so veterans, offering each their own bedroom and bathroom.”
While the funding for the home is set, a location and timeline for construction of the new center have yet to be determined. The current location will remain in operation for the time being, but it is not yet confirmed what will happen to the building once the new veterans’ home is completed.
Whitmer says the new location will also provide additional services for veterans, including increased health services, a gym, cafe, barber shop, and more. Increased staff services will also allow for experiences like hunting trips, volunteering opportunities, and board game nights.
Governor Whitmer’s visit in the UP will include a stop at the U.P. State Fair on Thursday to take part in the “Veteran of the Year” award ceremony, as well as several additonal stops throughout the remainder of the week.