Comal County Courthouse

Comal County Courthouse

MIKALA COMPTON | Herald-Zeitung

The Comal County Commissioners Court on Thursday got its first glimpse at the design for a new county mental health treatment facility.

The $9.5 million facility will be built near the jail at the corner of I-35 South and Loop 337.

Dallas-based Kirksey Architecture designed the 16,000 square-foot facility, which will serve people who would otherwise be treated at local hospitals or in the jail.

Crystal McDonald with Kirksey said that the firm redesigned several exterior features to stay within budget as construction costs rise.

“We limited the limestone and went to accent brick for that entry accent wall,” she said. “We lowered the overall height by about two feet. We changed a lot of the exterior to cement fiber board, with just a small brick band at the base.”

The building will have capacity for 16 beds. Six of those rooms will provide extended observation treatment for people who are involuntarily committed.

The remaining 10 beds will serve as crisis residential treatment for voluntary commitments.

“The voluntary (commitment) side does also have an outdoor courtyard area where they can go out and get some fresh air,” McDonald said.

The design also includes exam and interview rooms, group treatment rooms, lockers, staff offices, a kitchen, dining room and nurses’ stations.

The building project will be funded through the $30.8 million allotted to Comal County from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

Comal County will now transition to planning for construction of the facility.

County engineer Tom Hornseth said the Comal County building is modeled after an Austin facility.

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