Phoenix Center breaks ground

Phoenix Center breaks ground in Horseshoe Bay

The Phoenix Center held a groundbreaking for its future 7,380-square-foot mental health counseling center in Horseshoe Bay on Wednesday, Sept. 30. Pictured are Phoenix Center board President Lindsay Plante (left), board member Ron Mitchell, board Treasurer Susan Pierce, board member Paul Brady, Steve Nash of Nash Builders, Phoenix Center founder and Executive Director Sarah Garrett, board member Allan Garrett, board Vice-President Patia Strickland, and Ryan Nash of Nash Builders. Staff photo by Daniel Clifton

Groundbreaking ceremonies for the Phoenix Center’s 7,380-square-foot mental health counseling center drew a crowd of about 50 people on the morning of Wednesday, Sept. 30. Located at 3340 Texas 71 in Horseshoe Bay, the new facility allows the Phoenix Center to expand its mission of offering high-quality, trauma-informed mental health care to children and families, regardless of economic status.

Founder and Executive Director Sarah Garrett said the facility will enable them to include equine therapy and therapeutic camp facilities along with its other trauma-informed programs.

“I’m just filled with gratitude for everyone who has helped in this,” Garrett said. 

Trauma-informed programs use therapy methods developed with the latest in brain research designed to help children heal after trauma. 

The Phoenix Center provides a number of services, including counseling and group sessions for children and parents. The center uses innovative groups, including music therapy, art therapy, animal-assisted therapy, and yoga. The staff also works with local schools and youth organizations. 

Phoenix Center building new center in Horseshoe Bay
With everything in place, the Phoenix Center’s new mental health counseling center should be completed in about 18 months. Staff photo by Daniel Clifton

Garrett founded the Phoenix Center in 2007. At the time, she and current board President Lindsay Plante, along with a few volunteers, took the early programs into the Boys & Girls Club of the Highland Lakes. They started with art and music therapy programs.

The center also held summer therapeutic camps.

Eventually, the Phoenix Center operated out of a location at Second Street and Avenue G in Marble Falls. As the program and the community’s need for it grew, Garrett, staff, and board members realized they needed more room, especially with their vision for summer camps, horses, and a high-ropes course 

In 2015, the Phoenix Center board launched a capital campaign to raise money for a new facility and purchased the Horseshoe Bay acreage. In 2019, the center relocated to the property in temporary office buildings. 

“I truly believe it’s the strength of the community, the volunteers, and the staff that’s gotten us here,” board member Paul Brady said at the groundbreaking. 

He estimated it will take Nash Builders about 18 months to complete the new facility. 

For Garrett and Phoenix Center staff, it can’t happen soon enough.

“We’re so excited about this,” Garrett said before the groundbreaking. “We’ll be able to help so many more children and their families.”

Learn more about the Phoenix Center or support its work on its website.

daniel@thepicayune.com 

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