JUNCTION CITY, Ore. — After years of planning, it’s full speed ahead for a new mental health facility. The Oregon legislature approved full funding for the project Monday.
The secure, three-story state mental health hospital will serve 174 patients. Most of the patients in the state system have been convicted of a crime, but found to be insane. Others have been civilly committed because they’re a danger to themselves or others.
The hospital was originally scheduled to open in 2013, but construction was slowed by budgetary considerations at the capitol.
The hospital will employ 500 doctors, nurses, pharmacy technicians and many other workers. The construction’s already providing a boost to the Junction City trade unions.
“We should probably hit our full peak sometime after the first of next year, in January. And I estimate there’ll be anywhere between two and 240 workers will be out here,” said project superintendent Michael Erdman.
The Junction City Mental Health Hospital will cost $80 million to build. Construction will begin August 19 and is expected to be completed by December 2014.
This facility and a much larger facility in Salem will replace the existing facilities in Pendleton and Portland.