State calls public meeting on Junction City hospital in Junction City

From the Albany Democrat Herald, December 2, 2011

State officials have called a community meeting in Junction City for Dec. 6 on the construction and operation of the psychiatric hospital being planned there.

It will be from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. that Tuesday in the cafeteria of Junction City High School, 1135 W. Sixth St.

The Oregon Health Authority said the forum will be a chance for the public to get information about the new mental health hospital, including programming, employment, design and construction.

Patricia Feeny, a spokeswoman with the Oregon Health Authority, said many details of the project are still in the hands of the legislature and may be nailed down in the February session.

The plans have been reduced from the initial 360-bed hospital to one with 174 beds, and Feeny said legislative approval on the size is still pending.

Construction will begin in 2012 and be completed by the end of 2014, Feeny said.

“The number of staff will depend on final size, but the construction project and the new hospital will generate hundreds of jobs,” she said.

Oregon has been replacing its state hospital in Salem with a new one there, and the Junction City project is part of that.

“The Salem site is winding down and we will be handing over the last set of ‘keys’ to the superintendent on Dec. 14,” Feeny said in an email.

“We had a successful implementation of the electronic health record system on Nov. 1 and will replicate the same system in Junction City.”