Funding okayed for new psychiatric institution in Junction City

The Junction City project was a bad idea at inception.  The closer it gets to reality, the worse an idea it becomes.

 

We have been solidly, vocally opposed since Day One to building a new institution of segregated care at Junction City.  Unfortunately, although our efforts had an impact, they were not sufficient to kill the project.

 

Despite unaffordable cost, despite lack of need, despite opposition from the very people it is supposed to serve, Junction City is motoring on.

 

If the goal is to locate as many of us as possible as far away from civilization as possible, Junction City is a step forward.   If the goal is to help us, this is not the way.

 

— Eds.

By Bob Schaper, KEZI News, July 15, 2013

Junction City intersection by old water tower

One of the busy intersections in the thriving metropolis of Junction City.

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.

[It was also slowed by opposition, including MHAP’s.]

READ –  MHAP leads charge against new psychiatric lockup in Junction City (Willamette Week, June 2013)

READ –  MHAP’s Register-Guard article outlining our objections to the project, 2011

READAll articles about Junction City

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.