Design moves forward on downtown behavioral health center

October 24, 2019

The Board of Commissioners on Thursday authorized the Department of County Assets to spend up to $2.2 million for early design and pre-construction costs for a project that will bring shelter, supportive housing and a day center to downtown Portland to support people experiencing homelessness and behavioral health issues.

Senior Budget Analyst Althea Gregory says using a separate project fund improves transparency in tracking capital costs and resources

The County purchased 333 S.W. Park Ave. and an adjacent parking lot on S.W. Oak Street in January for a Behavioral Health Resource Center. The Board also set aside $10.95 million in the fiscal year 2020 adopted budget to support the project. 

Earlier this fall, the Board approved preliminary plans for the renovation, estimated to cost $15 million to $20 million. Schematic and design development, pre-construction, and early construction were estimated to cost a total of $2.2 million.

Thursday’s vote moves $2.2 million from the General Fund to a new Behavioral Health Resource Center Capital Fund, specifically for the project. The remaining General Fund contingency balance specified for the Center will be $8.75 million.

“Separating out the Behavioral Health Resource Center project costs in a new fund will create greater transparency in tracking capital costs and resources associated with the project,” Senior Budget Analyst Althea Gregory said. 

Establishing a separate fund is the same process the County has used to track spending on the McCoy Health Department Headquarters and Central Courthouse.