$4.9 million cemetery renovation project to start in February

killeen2Honoring the men and women who served in our nation’s military is the focus of the most ambitious renovation project in the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery’s 10-year history.

Scheduled to begin in February, a $4.9 million expansion project will involve the installation of concrete support sleeves for existing and future headstones, the addition of 4,000 new burial crypts, and the replacement of capstones on the columbaria.

Resodding the turf, planting new landscape features such as bushes and trees, dedicating a special area for scattering of ashes, and repaving the surface of the memorial walkway are also in the plans for the estimated year-long project, funded by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

“This isn’t only an aesthetic improvement project,” said Eric Brown, director of State Veterans Cemeteries for the Texas Veterans Land Board. “Our main goal is for this cemetery to stand the test of time. We’re working hard to ensure that future generations may come here and continue the tradition of honoring those who served our country.”

Located on a gently rolling hillscape in Killeen, the headstones often require straightening and additional sod for support. The concrete sleeves will keep the headstones from shifting or tipping, Brown said.

Columbaria (small buildings where ashes and remains are kept) will undergo repairs to the capstones atop each unit. This will all be done without accessing the interred remains – only the capstones will be removed.

“A few months is a small portion of time to make these resting places lasting memorials for generations to come,” Brown added. “We want to stress that in no way will the remains of our heroes be moved or even touched.”

Honor is hard at work at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery in Killeen. The cemetery is located on 174 acres previously part of Fort Hood and donated by the federal government. The construction of the cemetery was made possible through the coordination of area veterans groups, the city of Killeen, the federal government, and the VLB.

The initial phase of development included 7,620 gravesites on 31 acres. The cemetery will eventually be capable of providing a final resting place to more than 50,000 veterans and their family members.

WHO: Texas VLB, the VA, and staff of the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery

WHAT: $4.9 million renovation and expansion project

WHEN: February through November 2014 (estimated time)

WHERE: Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery in Killeen

WHY: To make sure memorials for Texas’ heroes are preserved for generations

6 thoughts on “$4.9 million cemetery renovation project to start in February

  1. Do have any pay off for funeral services, or any programs into pay off the actual cost of being buried,
    I am willing to pay for this, so my family will have no
    cost to them. I just buried my wife, it cost over $10,000, I had the plots paid off back in 1978, it is costly. I am a Nam vet. Thanks.

  2. This is very admirable that these needed upgrades are done to the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery in Killeen. I just hope that the same is done to all the other Veteran Cemeteries in the State of Texas. We must also preserve and care for the upkeep of their gravesites to honor their service to our country.

    • Thank you for your comment, Ms. Hernandez. We are always looking for ways to improve the final resting places of our deserving men and women veterans in Texas. As you know, the upgrades in Killeen are set to begin in February. The VLB has also received a grant for $464,101 to build two new columbaria (small buildings where ashes and remains are kept, including urns) at the Rio Grande Valley State Veterans Cemetery in Mission, in addition to landscape improvements. We will continue to work nonstop to keep our Texas State Veterans Cemeteries in top shape. Our veterans in Texas deserve the best!

  3. My wife is buried at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery, and upon my demise I will be buried in that same gravesite.

    I am very grateful for the construction, maintenance, and improvements of the cemetery. My thanks to the Texas VLB, the VA, and staff of the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery. We are most fortunate to have this beautiful facility of which we can all be proud.

    • Mr. Walther,

      Thank you so much for your comments. We are honored to provide these final resting places for our deserving veterans and their families. Another bit of positive news, our Rio Grande State Veterans Cemetery in Mission just received a grant for $464,101 to build two new columbaria and do landscape improvements. We will continue to look for ways to keep the Texas State Veterans Cemeteries the best in the nation. We thank you for your service!

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