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Groundbreaking next week on mental health facility

Lakeland Mental Health will build on the south side of 34th Avenue East in Alexandria, across the street from the Legacy apartments. (Contributed)1 / 2
The Lakeland Mental Health Center building will be 10,600 square feet and sits on 10.42 acres of wooded land. (Contributed)2 / 2

Lakeland Mental Health Center will break ground on Thursday for a $2.5 million, 10,600-square foot building at 702 34th Ave. E.

Built on 10.4 acres of wooded land near Legacy Apartments, it offers parking for 50 and the privacy mental health clients often seek. The site preparation crew left most of the woods, chief financial officer Lynn Wolters said.

"It's a beautiful location," she said this week. "I was just out there today. It's so secluded and we're going to do native prairie around the building so it'll blend into the natural environment."

The nonprofit center took over management of the local outpatient mental health service clinic from Douglas County Hospital in 2009. Lakeland Mental Health leases a site from the hospital, but the hospital needs the space back next June. The new site will provide about 3,000 square feet more than its current quarters.

The extra space will allow Lakeland to offer expanded services in the future, including in the community and the school, Wolters said. The building is designed for future expansion.

Lakeland Mental Health Center has provided behavioral health services in west-central Minnesota since 1949. Its mission has been to provide high-quality, accessible behavioral health care. It has a center in Fergus Falls and works with patients in a six-county area, including Douglas County.

The Alexandria center employs about 15 staff members who provide outpatient and psychiatric services.