Mental health pod slated for 2019

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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - The construction of a mental health 'pod' at the Community Health Center of the Black Hills is finally underway after more than 8 months of delays.

The 'pod' is simply a wing at the health center dedicated to mental health. Almost exactly a year ago the city council approved a vision fund request of more than half a million dollars to expand the clinic to include the pod.

However, construction was delayed when congress failed to pass a long term spending bill. The health center did not receive it's full funding until June and is now trying to make up for lost time.

Board Member Ron Reed says building a mental health pod was always part of the long term goal when the building was first built.

"We didn't have the funds to complete it at the time, but we did it so it could be done. We have a gravel floor, all the heating, cooling, plumbing ect. was brought into the area and terminated so it would be easy to finish it at some future date. "

That future date is now.

"The way that it's planned out at this time is that we will have two group rooms and we will have four offices for mental health therapists and one for a psychiatric nurse practitioner," said Nicholas Isaacs, a mental health professional at the facility.

It will take 3 to 4 months to finish. The project was approved for more than $500,000 from the Vision Fund, but because of several factors the contract when for close to $400,000.