JUNCTION CITY, Ore. (KMTR) -- Five years after state legislators approved funding to build two new state mental health hospitals, the construction equipment for the Junction City facility has finally arrived.
Contractors started moving dirt on the site of the future Oregon State Hospital in southern Junction City, off of Mill Iron Road. Crews from Eugene Sand and Gravel and Northwest Kodiak Construction from Sheridan are now working on leveling the site. Once site preparation is complete, major work will begin with concrete and vertical steel going up.
Back in 2007, the Oregon State Legislature approved the $458 million to build two new mental health hospitals: a replacement facility in Salem and a new facility in Junction City. The Junction City site is the state’s second mental health hospital.
It took a while to start work because the contractors needed to finish the Salem project first, as Salem’s facility currently houses patients.
What’s happening might not look like much from Highway 99, but some think it’s the foundation for a big future for Junction City.
With construction finally starting, City Councilor Jack Sumner says it’s a positive thing for the city. “I think Junction City is going to get some good out of this,” said Sumner in an interview with NewsSource 16 on Friday afternoon. “Hopefully we'll be able to move forward and add these lands where we can put new businesses, new changes for Junction City to grow, and not have to drive all the way to Eugene to get the things that we need.”
The plans for the facility aren’t fully completed at this point. When it’s done, administrators said the Salem facility will likely take the most serious cases, while Junction City will take less severely rated patients.
By the State Health Authority’s estimates, the new hospital in Junction City should bring about 1,500 new jobs to the area by 2014.
General contractor Hoffman Construction Company will hold a construction project vendor fair on August 23, 2012, to promote job opportunities at Oaklea Middle School on 1515 Rose Street from 1 to 3 PM.
On July 31, the community is invited to learn about the hospital project at an outreach meeting to be held from 1 to 3 PM at Junction City High School.