The Staten Island Mental Health Society (founded 1895) has broken ground on the first LEED-certified, “green” health-related facility in New York State. Three years ago the agency purchased and began renovating a drab, dilapidated former factory building in St. George, the borough’s downtown business and transportation hub. Today, the structure’s metamorphosis into an attractive, energy- efficient, environmentally friendly Children’s Center is imminent.
With its numerous exterior and interior “green” components, including geo-thermal heating and cooling, solar roof panels, and water-efficient plumbing fixtures, energy savings of over 40 percent are expected, according to modeling by the New York State Energy Research Development Authority (NYSERDA). The Society also expects the building’s LEED-certification status to be at the “Gold” level
When the new center opens in 2010, the agency plans to relocate four of its 22 mental health programs for children and their families there – chemical dependency prevention and treatment services for adolescents; family support mental health services; and child abuse and neglect prevention services. These programs served 1,000 children through 20,000 visits last year.