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Scheib Center celebrates new building

Scheib Center in San Marcos celebrates new building

by Mark Doyle of Community Impact Newspaper
October 5, 2012

Hundreds of residents gathered Oct. 4, 2012 in San Marcos to celebrate the completion of a 4,285-square-foot metal building that had been erected in just three days to help expand the Scheib Center.

Photo by Mark Doyle

Lisa Spencer, chairwoman of the Scheib Center, addresses volunteers and several hundred Hays County residents and officials to dedicate a new building donated by The Mueller Company's Helping Hand Project.

The center provides mental health services to the residents of Hays County, primarily to those without insurance and those on Medicaid.

"We are just about on top of the world," said Lisa Spencer. "We've been cramped for space for some time, and this is an answer to our prayers."

The metal shell for the building was built by more than 40 volunteers from Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico as part of an award from The Mueller Co., which holds a competition once a year called the Helping Hand Building Project.

The company, headquartered in Ballinger, Texas, accepts applications from numerous nonprofit organizations, selects one based on need and other criteria and then builds a structure for it. The Scheib Center is the 2012 recipient of the award.

"There's definitely a competition-there were 150 applications this year, so we feel really fortunate to receive it," Spencer said. "We really needed it, though. We serve thousands of clients in this county from 14 offices with a staff of 22. We have five psychiatrists working out of just two offices."

Spencer said that the Scheib Center's fundraising efforts also helped them land the award.

"This community is just incredible," she said. "The city and county each gave us $50,000, and thanks to donations from the wonderful people who live in this area, we were able to raise $200,000 on our own. Our goal was to raise $450,000, and we've raised it."

Under the terms of the competition, the Scheib Center is responsible for funding construction of the foundation, parking lot, plumbing, electrical, air conditioning, interior walls, doors and flooring, plus a breezeway to link the new structure to the existing building.

"We don't build buildings, we fabricate them," said Mike Fry, marketing director for The Mueller Co. "For this structure, we just put up the shell. The volunteers who built it are not building contractors. They're store managers and bankers and teachers. They're a unique group."

One thing the volunteers have in common is their commitment to the recipients who are awarded one of these buildings.

"It was a tough decision this year," Fry said of the selection for the 2012 project. "There are so many great organizations out there and lot of need. But the cream always seems to rise to the top. The Scheib Center just does an amazing job. They needed a lot more space so they can deliver their services to more people, and our part has been to give them the opportunity to do that."

On hand for the dedication ceremony were the previous four recipients of the award, as well as members of the San Marcos City Council and Hays County Commissioners Court.

"The court as a whole understands the valuable asset we have in the Scheib Center," Precinct 3 Commissioner Will Conley said. "Law enforcement, medical centers, schools, social services and individuals in Hays County rely on the Scheib Center to ensure those with mental disabilities receive proper care.

"The population growth in Hays County has stretched the center's resources beyond the maximum, and the new building is very much needed to meet the increased demand that comes along with that growth," Conley said.

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