Mental Hospital Walls Put Up

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JUNCTION CITY, Ore. — For some, this project was more than a decade in the making and with the lifting of each panel, all the parties involved say they become closer and closer to making what was once just a dream, a reality.

Construction on the facility alone costs about $84 million, but there are many who believe the return will be worth it.

“I think the housing is the biggest thing. I think we had 87 permits last year and it grows every year,” said Junction City Councilor Randy Nelson.

And the value isn’t just in economic investment into the surrounding areas or even the thousands of jobs generated.

“The key thing to look forward to is that we’re going to have a brand new facility in order for people to come to and heal and help them reengage in the communities,” said Project Administrator Jodie Jones.

The hospital will eventually serve thousands in need of proper mental health care and attention.

Oregon State Representative Val Hoyle said, “I have a brother who suffers from schizophrenia, a severe mental illness, and so this is something that’s very personal to me. And I know that with good treatment and an acute care facility, people can get the right kind of care and live productive and full lives.”

For years, some weren’t sure the doors to help here would ever open, but the doubt is no more.

“You don’t believe it’s going to happen until you see it happening…So to have these walls go up, I’m thrilled,” said Hoyle.

Jones said, “We are finally vertical. This is no longer just a pipe dream somewhere. It’s becoming a reality.”

The entire facility will be made up of 256 panels. Crews are currently shooting to average putting up about 12 a day, but the work is weather-dependent. So, they expect the entire process to take up to three months. The entire building is slated to be completed by December 2014 and ready for patients by March 2015.

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