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Construction of New Mental Health Center on Time And Under Budget

September 28, 2012
By SHELLEY HANSON - Staff Writer , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

WHEELING - Construction of the Robert C. Byrd Child & Adolescent Behavioral Health Center is on schedule and under budget, said Rick Buckelew, director of behavioral health services at Hillcrest Behavioral Health at Ohio Valley Medical Center.

"We are thrilled with the progress the construction team has made on this new facility. At this time, the project is entirely under roof and the contractors are moving forward with completing interior construction including drywall installation and some of the finishing work - doors, windows and painting," he said. "With the building itself about 80 percent complete, the crew is also working on exterior landscaping and concrete work to round out the construction."

A ribbon cutting and open house is scheduled to occur sometime in November with facility opening soon after.

Article Photos

Photo by Shelley Hanson
Construction continues on the a new, $6 million adolescent mental health facility in Center Wheeling near Ohio Valley Medical Center.

"We have recently advertised and posted several new positions specifically for staffing the new facility and look forward to adding charge nurses, clinical therapists, social workers and staff nurses to our child and adolescent behavioral health team. We expect to add over 20 new employees. So far, we've received a great response from our community and are already working through the interview process for many of the posted positions," Buckelew said.

The hospital currently has 18 beds for children who are psychiatric patients, while the new facility is expected to have 30. OVMC's behavioral health center, HillCrest, opened in 1973 and was built to accommodate adults only. The new facility will have separate wings for both boys and girls.

While in office, the late U.S. Sen. Robert Byrd secured $5.7 million for the project aimed at providing care for children who often must leave the area for treatment. The remainder of the $6 million project will be covered by OVMC's operating fund. The next closest West Virginia facility for children is four hours away in Huntington.

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