Construction starts on Cedar House for clients in crisis

With the recent award of a $704,817 building contract, site work has begun for the construction of a grant-funded respite home in Weaverville to provide emergency shelter to Trinity County Behavioral Health Services clients in crisis.

Located at 250 Main St., the new 1,800-square-foot house will be built next door to the existing Alpine House operated by Behavioral Health Services with grant funds available through the Mental Health Services Act.

Over the past several years, the agency has identified the lack of overnight shelter as a major gap in its system of care to clients experiencing a short-term crisis. While Alpine House serves clients with more long-term housing needs, the new Cedar Home will provide immediate shelter with a minimum of barriers to clients experiencing a mental illness who might not otherwise have anywhere to go, according to Behavioral Health Services Director Noel O’Neill.

A grant application submitted last year to the California Health Facilities Financing Authority was successfully awarded to develop a peer-operated, but county-run facility to increase crisis access to Trinity County residents.

The agency used a portion of the funds for design and the rest of the $750,000 grant will fund construction. The first round of bids due in March brought in three proposals that far exceeded the project budget.

So the plans were simplified while maintaining the main structure of the four-bedroom home that includes kitchen and laundry facilities and must be fully ADA accessible.

A second round of bids due in May brought in two proposals, both of which were still slightly over budget. The agency was able to work with the lowest bidder, North Valley Builders SC, Inc. in Redding to make additional changes to the architect’s plans and bring the cost down to within the budget.

In July, the Trinity County Board of Supervisors awarded the bid to North Valley Builders in the amount of $704,817. An additional $82,047 project to reroof the Alpine House next door was included in the bid and will be paid for separately out of the Alpine House maintenance fund. No general fund contributions from the county budget are anticipated.

O’Neill said the construction project is “shovel ready” and would begin with site work as soon as the bid was awarded.

North Valley Builders President and CEO Chris Agresta said he will be employing subcontractors from both Weaverville and Lewiston, but the rest will be out of Redding.

Trinity County’s Buildings and Grounds Supt. Tony Miller will serve as the project manager. He noted “any public works projects produce shell shock from the price tags” due to the ADA accessibility standards and prevailing wages required, but he said “I am comfortable with awarding the job to this contractor.”

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