Frontier Behavioral Health says it plans to build a 15,000-square-foot, two-story intensive outpatient center at the southwest corner of Sprague Avenue and Lee Street, in East Spokane.
The new office building will be just east of the Evergreen Club, which is a vocational rehabilitation club that Frontier operates for adults recovering from mental illness.
Frontier’s board of directors last week gave final approval to the project, valued at about $4.3 million. Construction is expected to begin this fall with completion targeted for fall of next year, says Carla Savalli, Frontier’s director of communications.
Frontier CEO Jeff Thomas says in a press release, “We’re consistently in need of more outpatient space to meet the needs of our clients. We’ve just been trying to keep up with demand through a combination of remodeling space we already occupy and leasing new space, but we’re still in need of more.”
According to a predevelopment application submitted to the city of Spokane, Frontier’s new L-shaped building will have 9,500 square feet on the first floor and 5,500 square feet on the second.
The building will occupy the front half of the lot nearest Sprague while the back part of the lot will be used for a 60-stall parking lot that will be accessed via Lee, site plans say.
The neighboring Evergreen Club currently serves 150 members per month by providing work opportunities within the club, training for workforce employment, and offers social clubs. The Evergreen Club’s west wing houses Frontier’s Health Homes and Care Transitions programs, which provide care and case management to individuals with multiple chronic health conditions.
“We’re looking forward to expanding our services in the East Sprague neighborhood, which has been a wonderful home for the Evergreen Club. There’s a lot of redevelopment energy right now along the East Sprague corridor, and we’re proud to be a community partner in those efforts,” Thomas says.
NAC Architecture, of Spokane, is listed as the project architect. Bouten Construction Co., of Spokane, will be the general contractor.
Frontier’s intensive outpatient program currently is located at 17 E. First. Thomas says about 35 employees will work in the new building.
With more than 700 employees operating in 146,900 square feet of total space at multiple facilities—and treating 15,000 patients a year—Frontier Behavioral Health is the largest provider of mental health services in Spokane County, Savalli says. In addition to the new building, Frontier has leased space in a multitenant office building at 505 N. Argonne, in Spokane Valley, and in a stand-alone building north of Providence Holy Family Hospital, at 5901 N. Lidgerwood in North Spokane. Frontier will occupy almost 4,600 square feet near Holy Family and about 1,500 square feet at the Argonne site, Savalli says.
The additional leased space will accommodate the increasing number of clients, including those in Frontier’s Wraparound Intensive Services (WISe) program. Practitioners on its WISe teams provide intensive services for youth with high levels of treatment needs.
The Argonne office is Frontier’s second Spokane Valley location. It owns a two-story building at 317 N. Pines. That office provides outpatient services including therapy, case management, and medication management to youth and adults.
The Holy Family site is Frontier’s first service site on the North Side.
Savalli says the agency made the decision to look for space in North Spokane because a substantial client base lives from downtown north to Francis Avenue and between Maple Street on the west and Market Street on the east. Frontier has an elder services building located at 5125 N. Market, in Hillyard.
Frontier will have 17 locations scattered across the Spokane area once the building on East Sprague is completed.
Founded as Spokane Mental Health, the organization has been a resource for people suffering from mental health issues here since 1970.
Thomas says since 2012, the number of new clients seeking services each month has increased by more than 80 percent as a result of Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act and the agency’s open access intake model.
Frontier gets funding from the Spokane County Regional Behavioral Health Organization, Aging and Long Term Care of Eastern Washington, Spokane County United Way, and third-party contracts.
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