Willow Creek

Strategic Behavioral Health, a for-profit company based in Memphis, Tennessee, plans to start construction later this month on a 72-bed psychiatric hospital on Deming Way in Middleton. The building is expected to resemble the facility shown, Willow Creek Behavioral Health in Green Bay, run by the same company.

A groundbreaking ceremony will be held Thursday for Miramont Behavioral Health, a 72-bed psychiatric hospital expected to open in Middleton’s Airport Road Business Park by early 2020.

Construction on the hospital, which will add to Dane County’s roughly 90 inpatient psychiatric beds, is expected to begin late this month, said Mike Garone, development director for Strategic Behavioral Health. The for-profit company, based in Memphis, Tennessee, plans to spend $17 million to $20 million to build the facility.

Construction is expected to finish in December 2019, with the facility opening in the first quarter of 2020, Garone said.

Strategic Behavioral Health has 10 psychiatric hospitals in six states, including one in Green Bay. It is building two others in two additional states.

The company says Miramont Behavioral Health will provide inpatient psychiatric care — on a voluntary and involuntary basis — for children, adolescents, adults and seniors, along with chemical dependency treatment for adults. Partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient care also will be provided.

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The facility could divert people experiencing mental health crises from jail and reduce trips by law enforcement to Winnebago Mental Health Center in Oshkosh, according to mental health advocates, county officials and police.

“It is our hope that our facility will both complement and enhance the delivery of services in Dane County and throughout the region,” Garone said.

Some have expressed concerns about immediate jeopardy violations and other sanctions Strategic Behavioral Health has faced in recent years at some facilities, including after 10 youth escaped in January from a hospital in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Middleton Mayor Gurdip Brar has said the facility will be good overall for the area, but he is concerned about its location, on Deming Way, near two day care centers and two sports complexes. The city is providing $1.2 million in tax increment financing.

“We’re going to have to make sure it’s as safe as any facility can be,” Brar told the State Journal in May.

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