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New mental health and addiction crisis care center in Franklinton faces increasing costs

A rendering of the Franklin County Crisis Care Center
Courtesy of Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Board of Franklin County
This rendering shows the $60 million Franklin County Crisis Care Center.

Columbus City Council will vote Monday night on whether to pay an additional $1 million to fund a new crisis care center being built by the Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Board (ADAMH) in Franklinton.

The $60 million project broke ground in February and is being funded by a variety of sources, including the city council, the Franklin County Board of Commissioners, donors and ADAMH itself. ADAMH wants the facility to be a central location for mental health and addiction treatment.

The facility is expected to open in 2025.

Like many construction projects in recent years, the new Franklin County Crisis Care Center in Franklinton has faced higher construction and material costs. At first, Columbus City Council funded $10 million of the project, but the council wants to funnel more money to support the project, which is about $1 million more than initially planned.

ADAMH COO Jonathan Thomas said the increase in costs to the project at 465 Harmon Avenue is likely due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic impact it has had on numerous other projects.

"The resolution that the city of Columbus is bringing forth to council this evening is it's completing the transfer of the funds from that original $10 million commitment. And they've added an additional $1 million, which will allow us to meet our fundraising goal for the construction cost," Thomas said.

The line item appears as $4.5 million on city council's agenda, but only $1 million of the price tag is more than city council originally committed to paying.

Thomas said the facility will provide a one-stop location for families, police and ambulances to bring people seeking the facility's services.

"They have one location that individuals should go to in lieu of emergency departments when not necessary is going to be a very efficient operating model for those public safety services and it lets public safety get back to do what public safety does more quickly," Thomas said.

Once completed, the facility will have an inpatient care center, 24/7 walk-in services and 23-hour observation services.

Thomas said the facility is built to help 80 people at any given time and he expects it to service about 34,000 encounters every year.

George Shillcock is a reporter for 89.7 NPR News. He joined the WOSU newsroom in April 2023 following three years as a reporter in Iowa with the USA Today Network.