As you all have noticed, I have been quite curious and fascinated with the construction project that is taking place behind my home in Pocatello. Well, today I have answers.
While I was leaving the Administration building at ISU this morning I ran into Mayor Roger Chase. As we stopped to discuss other matters, I thought quickly enough to ask him about the project is taking place where the old Campfire USA building (and prior to that and many other businesses, the City of Alameda office) once stood. He reminded me that the Campfire building was in fact condemned due to environmental problems. I knew there were problems with the building, but I wasn't entirely sure what they were until I saw them tear down the first exterior wall which revealed large amounts of mold on the interior walls. Perhaps a faulty and leaky roof had allowed this. Regardless, the building could no longer be used and was scheduled to be torn down.
After discussing the building itself and the close proximity to my own home (an assisted living facility for developmentally disabled adults where I am the houseparent) which the mayor's wife was instrumental in getting the neighborhood to agree to its construction many, many years ago, Mayor Chase filled me in on some details:
The new facility that is being built is in fact a behavioral treatment center for sexually abused children, the current facility for Bright Tomorrows is located on Maple. Mayor Chase mentioned that he had promised the neighborhood that he would not be placing any health facilities in the area when the plans for the new hospital were made public, but he could not let the children that would be using the behavioral center go without a proper facility. So, after public hearings the City of Pocatello decided to go ahead with the project and the center will be built as planned.
What amazes me most about the project is what it is costing the City of Pocatello--next to nothing. Why? Because a local architect, a local contractor, and many local contributors have donated their time, talents, and money to build the facility.
I am going to do a little more digging to see if I can find the exact cost of the facility and details on who is doing the work. I can't say how proud I am of all parties involved, including members of my neighborhood who have allowed this project to go forward. Within in two city blocks there are two assisted living facilities (one for the elderly, one for developmentally disabled adults), the Pocatello Free Clinic, and the soon to be home of Bright Tomorrows.
Another very nice thing the Bright Tomorrows center will bring to the community, other than the services they provide, will be office space available to the Pocatello Free Clinic that right next door which will allow for the Free Clinic to open its doors to more low-income patients.
As I get more details and as I take more pictures of the progress I will keep you posted.