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New psychiatric facility for children to be built in Salina

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013, at 8:31 a.m.

Saint Francis Community Services will break ground on a $5 million psychiatric residential facility for children and teens at 10 a.m. Oct. 24 on the grounds of its west Salina campus, 5097 W. Cloud St., according to a news release.

The new building will replace the nearly 100-year-old building at that location that was purchased by the Rev. Robert Mize Jr. for Saint Francis Boys Home in 1948.

“We have a long history of working with kids in a residential setting, and we felt it was time to be able to build the best facility we could,” said Trish Bryant, vice president of children and family services for Saint Francis Community Services.

The new 26,000-square-foot building will have an administrative wing and a youth wing, divided into four sections by age group and gender, Bryant said. It will be licensed for 42 beds.

There will be a full-service kitchen and dining room, chapel and meditation space and group activity rooms.

“It will be a homelike setting with a lot of light and features that will help the kids heal as quickly as possible. The rural setting is ideal, and frankly, it was time for the other building to be replaced,” Bryant said.

Two cottages on the campus, with eight beds each, will remain. The campus also has a gymnasium, a horse program and ropes course, Bryant said.

Children and teens are referred to the facility through local community mental health centers, Bryant said. The typical stay is about 60 days.

Project architect is Jones Gillam Renz of Salina. The builder has not been selected but will be announced in the next few weeks. Bryant said Saint Francis hopes to complete the project by fall 2014.

Saint Francis’ board of directors decided three years ago to start a capital campaign for the new building. Most of the money for the project has been raised, but the group is still accepting contributions, Bryant said.

Saint Francis, a faith-based organization associated with the Episcopal Church, works in the areas of adoption, substance abuse treatment, child welfare, family preservation, foster care and outpatient behavioral health, according to www.st-francis.org.

It has more than 20 offices throughout Kansas, including a Wichita office at 4155 E. Harry. The organization also operates in Mississippi, Nebraska and Oklahoma.

Reach Kelsey Ryan at 316-269-6752 or kryan@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @kelsey_ryan.

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