The temperature was frigid but the sun was out and the shovels were golden during FBH’s official groundbreaking ceremony on Dec. 6 for its new office and clinical space at 2128 E. Sprague.

The ceremony was attended by FBH staff, Evergreen Club members, and key community partners involved in the project including Bill Bouten of Bouten Construction, Jeani Natwick of NAC Architecture, and Georgette Grainger of Washington Trust Bank.

Christine Barada from the Spokane County Regional Behavioral Health Organization also attended the ceremony and spoke on behalf of Commissioner Al French who was unable to attend: “FBH has put into place programs that are critical to the health of our community,” Barada said. “This is a great expansion and we congratulate Frontier Behavioral Health.”

When the 15,000 square-foot, two-story building opens in late 2017, it will house as many as 35 FBH employees including the Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), which is presently located at 17 E. First Ave. IOP is expected to occupy about 5,000 square feet on the second floor of the L-shaped building and will include a combination of individual offices for staff and several larger rooms for groups and classes. The approximately 10,000 square feet of remaining space on the building’s first floor will include a reception area, staff break room, and office space for clinicians and support staff from other FBH programs.

“We couldn’t ask for a better location than the East Sprague neighborhood,” said CEO Jeff Thomas. “Our Health Homes program and the Evergreen Club are located in the building adjacent to this lot so we look forward to expanding our services out here. We are consistently in need of more space to serve our clients so we’re excited about this new building on a number of levels.”

The East Sprague business corridor has been a good location for the Evergreen Club, which helped inform FBH’s decision to expand its footprint in the neighborhood, Thomas said. The site’s proximity to FBH’s main downtown campus will also make it convenient for clients and staff who travel back and forth to programs or meetings. East Sprague Avenue is already a main bus route for STA but the planned University District Gateway Bridge and transit plaza between Grant and Sherman streets creates a vital transportation hub just outside the downtown core that will benefit FBH and other businesses.