Coryell County

Curtis Pilkington, left, of the Coryell County Maintenance Department, talks with Coryell County Commissioner Don Jones in the entrance of the north wing of the county MHMR building during renovation work last month. Work on the wing is finished, and the building will open as a mental health crisis services center Monday.

GATESVILLE — Work to convert a wing of the Coryell County MHMR building into a mental health services center is finished and the center can open Monday, Commissioner Don Jones told the commissioners court Monday.

“We’re done,” said Jones, who supervised the renovation project. “We want to open up within a week.”

The county was pushing to complete the work by Sept. 30 so the center would be eligible for fiscal year 2013 federal grant money, County Judge John Firth said.

The north wing of the 70-year-old building, which was once the county hospital, will have eight beds for a 24/7 transitional mental health unit that is part of a four-year project funded through a Medicaid waiver, which will provide $1.50 federal matching funds for every $1 of local money.

In July, the county budgeted $44,400 for the renovation. Jones said the project was completed within the budget.

Central Counties Services, which provides mental health services for Coryell, Bell, Hamilton, Lampasas and Milam counties, can use the wing starting next week, Firth said.

The second phase of the four-year project is to find a site for a new 30-bed crisis respite care unit. The search was initially for a site near Metroplex Hospital, which has the required psychiatric staff for the center, Firth said, but so far, no suitable location has been found. Firth and the commissioners have expressed an interest in putting the crisis respite center in Gatesville near Coryell Memorial Hospital.

In other action, the commissioners voted to accept applications for the newly created post of county human resources director. A job description for the position, which has a salary range of $40,000 to $48,000, will be posted at

Contact Tim Orwig at

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