Langley firm wins bid to build mental health clinic

The Langley firm of J&L Builders was awarded a contract by Island County commissioners last week to construct a 5,000-square-foot health clinic in Coupeville.

The bid was $634,745. The structure will house the private, nonprofit Compass Health of Island County, which is in the Johnson Building on Front Street in Coupeville.

The clinic works in a public-private partnership with the county and state.

Island County commissioner Mike Shelton said last week the new building is needed.

"The current building is deplorable," he said. "It's old and decrepit with a leaky roof and no parking. Its deficiencies are legendary."

Shelton said they need a "reasonable" place to deliver mental health services. The county is backing the project by purchasing the land on which the clinic will be built. The county will own the building and lease it to Compass.

The project is funded by a federal Community Development Block Grant of $750,000; real estate excise taxes and community health, each ponying up $100,000; and an additional $125,000 to be raised through community fund-raising efforts. The money will go toward building the clinic and other construction-related expenses.

Larry Harris, president of the board of directors of Island County Mental Health, said the funds are almost enough. The money generated through fund-raising will go toward building two additional consulting rooms onto the facility over J&L's base bid.

Island County Mental Health recently merged with Compass Health of Snohomish County, a nonprofit organization providing mental health services in San Juan, Skagit, Island and Snohomish counties for adults and children as well as specific programs for veterans. The organization also offers a chemical dependency outpatient program, psychiatric services, and assists clients in finding housing.

In 2001, 338 children and 851 adults received care or service from Compass Health of Island County. Compass of Island County employs 51 people and has an annual budget of $8 million.

Architects from Environmental Services of Seattle designed the one-story structure, which is expected to be completed next summer.

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