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Group seeks to rebuild vets’ guest house

Duane Johnson

As one who served 31 years in the U.S.

Navy, Rand Tanner is sensitive to and passionate about the needs of military veterans and their families.

That’s why Tanner, a financial advisor and retirement planning specialist with Morgan Stanley and volunteer president of the Veterans Hospital Foundation Inc.

of Reno, is pursuing funds to rebuild the Veterans Guest House at 880 Locust St.

The facility provides a temporary haven for relatives of veterans who receive treatment at the Veterans Administration Medical Center and Washoe Medical Center.

According to Tanner, the guest house needs to be demolished and rebuilt to effectively accommodate a rising number of occupants.

Built in 1935, the house with its antiquated facilities is costly to maintain.

It’s also too small to house a rising number of guests.

“Right now, we are overcrowded,” Tanner said.

“So far we haven’t had to turn people away, but we’ve been close.”

When they check in guests are requested to pay a $10 contribution to help alleviate the costs but are not turned away if they cannot afford to pay.

In order to be able to rebuild the home, Tanner says his group needs to secure at least $250,000 to get demolition and reconstruction under way.

Overall, the total project will cost more than $1.2 million.

Tanner has already reached agreement in principle with Northern Nevada State Bank to post the funds and with Q & D Construction to initiate reconstruction.

“To start, I need $250,000 be able to tear down and break ground,”Tanner said.

“That’s my target in the next three months.”

Because the Veterans Hospital Foundation is a non-profit organization, the project will be financed with taxdeductible donations from the public.

The project will increase the size of the house to three stories (a total of 4,717 square feet) the number of available beds from five to 16.

The new facility could house up to 14 guests.

Founded in 1991, the foundation’s goal is to provide an immediate housing solution for family members of veterans in need of assistance.

Originally called the Spouse House, the name was changed in 2002 to the Veterans Guest House promote the effort to assist veterans’ extended family members.

In addition to providing housing, the facility provides breakfast to

guests.

Its location allows family members to be within walking distance of the medical centers.

With the completion of the reconstruction and opening ceremony is targeted for Nov.

11, 2004,Tanner, sees it as an imperative project.

“I see this as an opportunity to help veterans who saved our country,” Tanner said.

“I’ve devoted my spare time to this effort.” (To contribute, contact Tanner at 982- 8624 or e-mail him.

His e-mail address is rand.tanner@morganstanley.com)