4:24 PM EDT, October 31, 2012
It's a little bit noisier than usual at the Salem VA Medical Center.
The construction is part of a multi-million dollar expansion.
"We've been trying to look at how we can better serve our mental health patients in a better environment for their mental healthcare for quite a few years," says Chief of Mental Health Services, Dr. Delmar Short.
That better environment is coming in the form of a 24-thousand square foot facility.
It will be a welcome relief from the current space.
Says Dr. Short, "It's sorta overcrowded right now and also doesn't have adequate group rooms and adequate visualization of the population, so we've been planning this for many years."
The mental health facility has been in the works for almost a decade, but it's only in the last two-years its taken shape.
"The idea for this type of modern mental healthcare is open space, as homelike an environment as we can possibly achieve, also including patient safety and security into the mix. So, it's really a tough balance to meet," says Project Section Manager Wayne Johnson.
Construction started in July.
Crews hope to have it under roof before winter, so they can be open and ready for patients in August 2013.
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