PITTSBURG — Crawford County Mental Health Center staff and took up shovels alongside county commissioners this week to celebrate the groundbreaking for a new facility.

The ceremony began at noon Wednesday at the Crawford County Mental Health Center. According to Executive Administrator Richard Pfeiffer, this addiction treatment center will open around January 2020.

The building will serve as a residential and in-patient facility, which involves a 28-day stay.

“It’s going to expand and open up a lot more patient care,” Heather Spaur, Director of Personnel and Marketing, said. “We have 24 beds right now and we are looking to expand that up to 50, so we’ll be able to serve a lot more people in the area with addiction and substance abuse problems.”

Stacey Hauck, Clinical Director of A&D Services, discussed the benefits of being a client in such a facility.

“It’s about learning a new social life — learning to find friends who are in recovery and will support your recovery,” Hauck said. “It’s very important for the addict to be involved in these programs and to let other addicts give back.”

Additionally, Hauck expressed her concerns with the Girard facility’s ability to secure jobs for clients.

“There aren’t a whole lot of jobs in Girard, and so it’s difficult for them to be in reintegration in Girard when they don’t have access to what they need to get jobs,” she said. “I think that will be another huge asset of the facility being here in Pittsburg.”

Similarly, Operations Director Stacy Kratz said she optimistic about clients’ reintegration prospects with this new building.

“We have more opportunities for them in Pittsburg,” Kratz said. “This building is also important for staffing because there are more college students and others who can work in our part-time positions in Pittsburg.”

 — Brandon Schmitz is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. He can be reached at bschmitz@morningsun.net.