Hussey Gay Bell Sets New Design Standard
Gainesville, GA – Avita Community Partners has a new 28,000 square foot Behavioral Health Crisis Center to call home off of Old Cornelia Highway in Gainesville, Georgia. Designed by Hussey Gay Bell, the facility replaces an existing and aging center in Flowery Branch, Georgia and includes a state-of-the-art peer living room, 24-hour walk-in crisis center, a 23-hour temporary observation unit with 15 beds and a crisis stabilization unit with 30 beds – six of which are reserved for those with developmental disabilities in crisis.
The $10.6 million center provides an alternative for behavioral health crisis, serving regional mental health patients with three distinct treatment levels including a walk-in, walk-out area serving patients who may need minor counseling, a 24-hour observation area and an access-controlled Crisis Stabilization Unit, complete with a communal area, group session rooms with comfortable chairs and sensory rooms for patients to relax in with dimmable lights and soothing wall murals. The project sought to balance the necessary design requirements for anti-ligature fixtures, weighted furniture, glass alternatives, coordinated access control and security monitoring components with featuring thoughtful selections of calming tones and materials daylit via clerestory windows in addition to outdoor pavilions with natural-themed fabric murals.
Interiors feature calming tones and details. Sealed windows use frosting to allow for safety and privacy, but also natural light to enter rooms. An outdoor pavilion features a nature-themed mural covering the chain link fence. A soothing blue and grey color palette flows through the building, touching on wooden accents. In this building, “we can see what hope looks like and see what recovery looks like,” said Judy Fitzgerald, the commissioner of the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, at the ceremony.
The construction was made possible by a combination of Avita Community Partners’ capital reserves and a $9.8 million GA Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD) grant from the State of Georgia.
Winter Construction served as the CM-at-Risk on the project, which reached completion in the June of 2021.