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Healthcare Facilities

High Desert Mental Health Urgent Care Center

Lancaster, California

High Desert Mental Health Urgent Care Center


2021 | Healthcare Facilities | National Award — Merit

High Desert Mental Health Urgent Care Center

The High Desert Mental Health Urgent Care Center (MHUCC) is a 9,900 square foot, new mental health urgent care center in Lancaster, California. The facility serves local children, adolescents and adults who may be suffering through a crisis and in need of immediate mental health treatment. With observation rooms, staff areas, patient rooms, doctor’s and staff offices and landscaping, the new 24-hour operating facility will provide critical resources to the surrounding community. Thanks to the design-build process the project was able to sustain efficiency and maintain a tight budget and schedule, despite issues related to the Coronavirus pandemic. Despite COVID, the project’s outcome was considered a huge success, evidenced by not just completing on time and on budget, but also, perhaps more importantly, not having one single positive COVID case during the entire project.

Strengthening the Lancaster Community

MHUCC is the first of its kind in the Lancaster area to offer 24/7 urgent mental health and crisis stabilization to mentally ill patients and their families. Currently, individuals in the area that are suffering from a mental health crisis end up at a local hospital or transported outside the area. MHUCC will help reduce local emergency room crowding and unnecessary hospitalizations, which can further traumatize patients. The project was eight years in the making and makes significant contributions to the community.

A third-party jobs coordinator helped the design-build team manage all local hire engagement and outreach to Certified Business Enterprises (CBE) and CBE-certified entities ultimately hiring nearly 19% CBE/LSBE Subcontractors. Additionally, LA County’s Civic Art Policy allocates 1% of the design and construction costs of County capital projects for civic art. This project includes an inspiring mosaic that is reflective of the community, depicting feelings of hope through the use of warm colors intended to inspire visitors as they enter the building.

Design-Build Team

Client/Owner: Department of Mental Health, Los Angeles County
Design-Build Firm: The PENTA Building Group
Architect: carrier johnson + CULTURE
Engineer: P2S Engineering
Specialty Contractors: Architectural Unlimited Bldg. Co., California Compaction Corp., CSI Electrical Contractors, Meadows Mechanical, Pierre Landscape
Construction Duration: 6.5 Months
Project Cost: $14,537,575.00