Plans for construction of a sobering station in Klamath Falls have been expanded to include mental health emergencies.
“It’s much more than a sobering facility now,” said Tom Hottman, spokesman for Sky Lakes Medical Center. Sky Lakes is one of the major partners for the project. Other contributors include Klamath County, Klamath Basin Behavioral Health, and the Klamath Tribes.
The original idea, which was announced in 2014, was to create a place where inebriated people could go to in order to sober up, rather than the emergency room or jail.
Hottman said having a designated place for people who are inebriated with medical professionals trained to handle those situations frees up resources at the jail and the hospital for other emergencies.
The services at the station are to be provided by Klamath Basin Behavioral Health.
Hottman said the plans were drawn up and ready to go, but more services were added and it was back to the drawing board. The new services require more licenses, different facilities, and more space.
The new services to be added are crisis walk-in and mental hold, meaning the station will be equipped to handle mental health emergencies.
“Everything was delayed because when the new licenses were added, it grew the footprint of the facility by about 20%, which required a redesign, which made all of the earlier plans and bids obsolete,” Hottman said.
The new plan projects that the station will be 3,500-square-feet. Hottman said the construction will cost around $1.4 million.
Hottman said the project is in the late stages of finalizing a contract. A plan has already been drawn up, and a date for construction will be set soon.
The facility will be located near in the Klamath Works human services campus off of South Sixth Street.
As for all the delays, Hottman said they will ensure that the project starts off on the right foot.
“You only get the chance to do it right the first time once,” Hottman said.