Officials with the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs in late July told Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.) the agency plans to complete a $260-million Orlando medical-center project by next summer and won't require any additional funding to do so.

The update by Timothy Liezert, the medical center's director, contradicts the contractor, who testified to Congress earlier this year that the project was more than $100 million over budget and could not be completed until 2014.

Nevertheless, Congressman Mica issued a statement calling the update "encouraging news."

In June, the VA issued a notice "to cure" that threatened to terminate the project's general contractor, Birmingham, Ala.-based Brasfield & Gorrie. The VA awarded B&G a $260.3-million contract for the 1.2-million-sq-ft job in 2010, with an original completion target of October 2012. B&G, which now estimates the project will cost more than $298 million, responded to the VA's cure notice by filing a revised project work plan.

The project will be the focus of an Aug. 13 House VA Committee field hearing in Orlandol.