Treatment Center will start by employing 44, more jobs potentially to be added later
KELLER - Leone and Keeble Construction Superintendent Carl Clausen estimates construction on the Colville Tribal Treatment Center facility in Keller will be complete in 6 to 8 weeks, projecting a successful meeting of the mid-May scheduled completion date.
“Now that we have got good weather, we are really getting going again,” said Clausen. “It is starting to look like something. When we finish it, this place will be really beautiful.”
Tribal Health officials have reported there are 44 initial jobs being created to staff the facility when it opens. As the facility reaches full capacity, tribal officials say, needs for additional positions will be evaluated.
Through construction, records from the Colville Tribal TERO Program show the contractor has maintained at least a 50 percent tribal preference employment level throughout the project, which started in December 2019.
“This is going to be great for our community,” said Colville Business Council member Jack Ferguson. “Since the project began, it has created jobs for tribal members. When the treatment center is up and running, it will create more, good paying jobs. It is bringing money both to our community in the San Poil and to our reservation. Most importantly, it is helping people.”
Most recently, the contractor reported a 59 percent tribal preference employment rate, noting 20 of the 34 employees working in the final phase of the project have tribal preference.
When it is complete, the treatment facility will feature 46 beds, 23 in both the men’s dorm and 12 in the women’s dorm. In total, the treatment center will be approximately 30,000 square feet, which includes the administration, treatment and service facility, a men’s dorm, a women’s dorm and a day care.
Currently, staff is working on finishing carpentry inside most buildings. Soon, crews will finish siding the men’s dormitory, begin painting and landscaping.
Amongst other features, the construction includes a geo-thermal system, a series of 42 wells, drilled 275-foot, that the system utilizes to use the constant temperature of earth as the exchange medium instead of the outside air temperature.
The new construction also includes a new well and high capacity pump, and in January the Colville Business Council approved through resolution a change order “from Leone and Keeble in the amount of $459,132 for the additional work required to place the Colville Tribal Substance Abuse Center well on the Keller Community water system to provide needed additional capacity,” as reads the resolution.
By placing the new well onto the community system, the treatment center allows their water to be managed through the Colville Tribal Public Works Department. In exchange, the new well provides more water into the community system and also reduces any need of a building moratorium in the small community - which is often placed under water restrictions during hot summer months, according to Public Works officials.
Next, said Clausen, the company hopes to begin construction on professional housing as a second phase of the treatment facility project.
In November, CBC approved a contract with Architects West to provide engineering services related to construction of 14 homes, anticipated to be completed in Keller and at the site of the former Grandview Trailer Park in Elmer City.