By Ian Thompson
TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE — Work on building a second Fisher House next to the base hospital is slated to get under way next spring, according to the Fisher House Foundation’s president.
The proposed $4.5 million ranch-style house is more than twice the size of the present 5,000-square-foot Fisher House next to the David Grant Medical Center “and will be a little bit more flexible to care for patients,” Foundation President David Coker said.
“Every suite will be handicapped-accessible,” Coker said of the proposed house.
Travis’ second Fisher House is one of 30 on the drawing board, four of which are planned for California. The others are slated for Palo Alto, Long Beach and Camp Pendleton.
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 who are being treated at the hospitals.
The foundation has a fairly aggressive capital construction program, which is using $28 million to build several houses this year in locations ranging from San Antonio to England, according to Coker. The foundation opened its 57th Fisher House this year.
Travis’ Fisher House is expected to triple the capacity for providing housing for the families of patients at David Grant Medical Center.
Locally, more than $400,000 has been raised to help build the second house. Regional radio talk show hosts Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty pleasantly surprised both themselves and the Fisher House Foundation last year when the duo raised more than $390,000.
“You cannot out-give the generosity of the American public to support our military. Their generosity allows us to expand the network (of Fisher Houses) as far as we have,” Coker said.
Coker said the foundation is excited to be building a second Fisher House next to David Grant Medical Center.
“We are appreciated by all of the communities around the Fisher Houses, but in Travis and the surrounding communities, we are appreciated that much more,” Coker said.