LA leaders eye shuttered courthouse for San Fernando Valley mental health center

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A $14.5 million project that would expand mental health services in the San Fernando Valley is being proposed for a shuttered courthouse.

The courthouse at 919 1st Street and Brand Boulevard in the City of San Fernando is coming down and a new center will be built at 15,600 square feet. If approved by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Monday, construction should begin January, said Steven Frasher, spokesman for the Department of Public Works.

The courthouse was closed in November because of structural damage to the aging facility’s roof, officials told reporters last year. It was built in the early 1900s for use as a factory.

The proposed new building will include outpatient mental health services, mostly for children, a waiting area, reception area, business offices, counseling/therapy rooms, and group therapy rooms, among other spaces.

“The San Fernando Mental Health Center project will enhance the County’s ability to provide mental health services in the San Fernando Valley by providing a Mental Health facility that services children,” according to the report to the Board by the county’s Department of Public Works.

Hearings related to mental health cases were moved to the Metropolitan Courthouse in downtown Los Angeles, until a permanent site is selected. The Judicial Council of California had been looking at designs to upgrade an existing courthouse in Hollywood for the hearings. But a spokesman on Monday said those plans were scrapped until further notice.

A bulk of the funding for the San Fernando Mental Health Center – $10.5 million – comes from sales tax realignment from Los Angeles County’s Department of Mental Health operating budget, according to the report.


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