BUTTE, Mont. - The public got a look inside a $5 million chemical dependency center in Butte Wednesday. About 18 months ago the project started, and all of its supporters will tell you it went up quickly but not easily.
"The administration building was going to be located right on top of a mine shaft," said Butte-Silver Bow Chief Executive Matt Vincent. "So we were able to find some technical assistance."
But without building a new Montana Chemical Dependency Center (MCDC) jobs would have been lost; the old center didn't meet Medicaid licensing standards.
"We could lose 55 jobs if we didn't build a new state-of-the-art facility," said Jim Clary, Branch Manager of American Federal Savings Bank.
So local contractors, architects, banks, local and state government, and the nonprofit Community, Counseling and Correctional Services got together, and made the new center possible.
Project coordinators say the new center will serve as a model facility not only for the state, but for the region.
"It really is providing that opportunity for some struggling Montanans to change their lives," said Montana Governor Steve Bullock, who helped cut the ribbon Wednesday.
Those Montanans are people 18 and older who have been diagnosed with drug or alcohol addiction or who suffer from both addiction and mental disorders. 700 patients will use the center every year. The new facility has a men's and women's building, 48 beds, detoxification rooms, family visitation areas, kitchens, cafeterias and room for activities.
"There's going to be exercise facilities which are going to be a very important component of their healing," said Richard Opper, Director of the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services.
Within the next month more furniture and patients will fill the rooms at MCDC.
MCDC is administered by the Addictive and Mental Disorders Division of the Department of Public Health and Human Services and funded with alcohol tax dollars. It's a collaborative public-private partnership.