ROCHESTER, Minn. - A non-traditional groundbreaking for the Southeast Regional Crisis Center was held on Tuesday.
It's to celebrate the start of construction on the site near the Olmsted County Government Campus. The center aims to provide mental health crisis services to our area.
Minnesota Sen. Dave Senjem said, "It's a powerful, painful moment in anybody's life but to have this resource will be exactly what we need."
Unlike a traditional groundbreaking, where leaders associated with the project ceremonially shovel dirt, representatives could only stand behind the shovels and take photos due to health concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Those leaders included representatives from each of the ten counties to be served by the center as well as leaders from Mayo Clinic and Olmsted Medical Center.
Also, unlike a traditional ceremony, the groundbreaking wasn't open to the public and guests were asked to wear masks.
Sen. Senjem says when the center is finished it will make sure patients needing mental health treatment will be able to receive it at any time, day or night.
He added, "This will be that special place where the right kind of people are available to handle, in the right sort of way, that crisis that occurs immediately 24/7 -356. Mental illness doesn't wait an 8-5 span of time. It can happen at anytime."
While it's based in Olmsted County the center will also serve Dodge, Filmore, Mower and Winona counties among others. The center is expected to be open by 2021.