Posted: Tuesday, November 10, 2015 8:21 am | Updated: 3:11 pm, Tue Dec 1, 2015.

LINCOLN — State officials took another step Monday toward starting construction of the new Central Nebraska Veterans Home in Kearney.

The Nebraska Department of Administrative Services Building Division has released information about the project and begun seeking construction bids. The bids are due Dec. 17.

The Kearney facility is expected to open in fall 2018. The planned 225-bed home will replace the aging veterans home in Grand Island. Estimates put the total cost of building and equipping the new home at $121 million, of which the state will provide $47 million.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has set aside $52 million to get construction started and will provide more later.

John Hilgert, veterans homes director for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, said the bidding process got underway after federal officials approved the final architectural drawings and specifications for the home last week.

Wilkins Hinrichs Stober Architects of Kearney designed the project.