AP NEWS

Pennington County to open social services complex

September 8, 2018

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — A western South Dakota county is preparing to open an all-in-one social services complex.

Workers are putting the finishing touches on the new Care Campus in the former National American University building in Pennington County, The Rapid City Journal reported . The 70,000-square foot facility’s services will range from transitional housing to treatment services.

The facility is scheduled to open Sept. 24. The renovation cost about $14 million and comes three years after the County Commission voted to purchase the old NAU campus.

The campus will act as a centralized location for the county’s public services, which are currently scattered.

“It’s no more kicking the can down the road or finger-pointing,” said Willie Whelchel, Chief Deputy of the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office. “How we help folks will have a big impact on the community.”

The facility will service as a “single point of entry” for substance abuse and mental health services, said Barry Tice, Director of Pennington County Health & Human Services.

“We won’t have to drive people across town or schedule appointments two weeks out,” he said. “We’ve built an environment for efficient, quality care.”

The additional beds will help save taxpayers money, Tice said.

Officials also hope to use the facility to provide people temporary housing in the winter, he said.

“During these cold winters, we hope to house people and keep them from freezing to death,” said Tice.

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Information from: Rapid City Journal, http://www.rapidcityjournal.com

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