Mental health crisis center construction contract approved



A new Behavioral Health Crisis Center, the first to be publicly funded in Fulton County, should be open early next year after county commissioners on Wednesday unanimously approved an $11.4 million design-and-build contract for it.

The center will be added onto the existing Oak Hill Child Adolescent & Family Center at 2805 Metropolitan Parkway SW.

The construction money comes from federal American Rescue Plan Act funding.

The county provided the site, then sought and received $6.7 million from the state to operate the center for the first half of 2024. Fulton is seeking $13.3 million in state operating funds for each full year after that.

The Oak Hill center, which already houses a community kitchen, childhood hearing test lab and other community services, will remain in operation. Those facilities will be renovated, and one wing of the current structure will eventually house youth mental health services.

A new wing will add more than 23,000 square feet for the crisis stabilization center. It must be substantially complete less than eight months after builders get the go-ahead, according to the contract.

Plans call for a 24-bed crisis stabilization unit and a lower-level facility with 18 observation chairs. Central to the Fulton County plan is a “living room” model, a comfortable and informal area where walk-in patients can talk with staff without necessarily remaining for longer-term care.

From July 2021 through June 2022, 530 Fulton County residents spent an average of eight days each in mental crisis stabilization units; but those were spread across 17 facilities statewide.

The contract is with Hogan Construction Group of Norcross, which was the only qualified bidder on the project, according to a county evaluation committee report.