Built in 1943 by the federal Works Progress Administration, the 16,450-square-foot MHMR building was formerly the Coryell County Hospital.

GATESVILLE — Workers started moving furniture into the newly renovated north wing of the Coryell County MHMR building last week, but opening the eight-bed mental health services center to clients is still at least a month away.

“We are still getting appliances and furniture and fixtures,” said Eldon Tietje, executive director of Central Counties Services, the Temple-based agency that provides mental health services for Coryell, Bell, Hamilton, Lampasas and Milam counties.

Tietje said the federal government shutdown had not affected the center’s opening.

“Not to our knowledge to this point,” he said, noting there is “no firm date” for opening. “We would like to see it open by the first week of November, but we are working with things that are out of our control.”

The 24/7 transitional mental health unit is part of a four-year project funded through a Section 1115 Medicaid waiver that will provide $1.50 federal matching funds for every $1 of local money.

The county completed the renovations by Sept. 30, staying within the $44,400 budgeted for the work, said Commissioner Don Jones, who supervised the project.

The project’s second phase 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, but so far no suitable location has been found.

County officials have expressed an interest in putting the crisis respite center in Gatesville near Coryell Memorial Hospital.

Contact Tim Orwig at torwig@kdhnews.com

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