Behavioral Health Services Center Groundbreaking Ushers In New Era for South Bay Youth

A long-awaited groundbreaking took place at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose with several Webcor representatives in attendance.

February 24, 2023

Project Updates

A long-awaited groundbreaking took place at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose on Wednesday with several Webcor representatives in attendance.

Webcor is the general contractor for the Child, Adolescent, and Adult Behavioral Health Services Center, a 77-bed inpatient behavioral health facility that will also include outpatient urgent care for minors and adults, emergency psychiatric services, a pharmacy, administrative offices, and a pedestrian skyway bridge connecting to the existing emergency department.

The groundbreaking ceremony featured remarks by several dignitaries, many of whom focused on the mental health crisis that has been declared in Santa Clara Valley. County Supervisor Joe Simitan, who has been advocating for the facility for eight years, noted that children attending the same high school from which he graduated are experiencing mental health crises but have nowhere to go nearby. They and their parents wait hours in an emergency room before an ambulance transports them to facilities as far away as Vallejo and Sacramento. Parents are left to pay thousands of dollars for ambulance transportation because liability rules prevent them from driving their children to these facilities.

Simitan also noted that teen suicides are a growing problem in the area, highlighting the need for the facility. What is now a hole in the ground, he said, "will soon be the kind of acute care center we've so long needed, right here, close to home."

Michael Elliott, president and executive director of the Valley Medical Center Foundation, said there were two things of which he was sure the day the building opens. "The building will be state of the art, and things we can't anticipate will be needed." To ensure those unanticipated needs can be met quickly, he said, an endowment is being established.

Among Webcor representatives attending the groundbreaking were Executive Vice President Jit Pahilajani, Senior Vice President Tom Taylor, and Vice President Tolga Acar.

Highlights of the groundbreaking are covered in the SCVMC video below; you can also read architect/designer HGA's detailed account of the groundbreaking.