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The National Trust for Historic Preservation has jumped on board with Save the VA's efforts to help protect the beautiful historic buildings at the Battle Mountain Sanitarium campus, as well as to make sure that VA follows all necessary laws and requirements for managing a National Historic Landmark.

The initial fiscal analysis provided by the VA was contracted to Jones Lang LaSalle, a company from Washington, D.C. However, not a single representative from the company ever set foot in South Dakota, working only from figures and descriptions provided by VA administrators. Save the VA and the Congressional Representatives found this suspect, as the figures provided in the analysis did not match figures provided in FOIA requests fulfilled earlier by the VA. During meetings with the VA, Save the VA & NTHP requested a second opinion from a third party architecture company with an eye for historic preservation guidelines. The VA agreed, and contracted Treanor Architects of Topeka, KS, for a one man, one day site visit to the Battle Mountain Sanitarium.

The resulting analysis indicated that Jones Lang LaSalle's renovation figures were inflated by nearly 35-40% to support the VA's position that closing the Hot Springs facility and building a new one in Rapid City, SD would be more cost-effective to taxpayers.

After being presented with this humbling proof, the VA backtracked and took the position that not only were they no longer in a position to negotiate on the proposed closure, but that they had never intended otherwise, contrary to their public statements in the media about having open discussion and incorporating ideas from the community.

Save the VA Historic Preservation Committee chair Amanda Campbell and National Trust for Historic Preservation Project Manager Jenny Buddenborg have worked tirelessly to bring the importance of historic preservation guidelines into the conversation.

To learn more about the National Trust's BMS cause, please visit:

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