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Bremerton’s Keller House to have more space, services

The exterior of the Keller House in Bremerton. The Keller House was a $4.3 million construction project and land was donated for it in 2007 by the Kitsap County Board of Commissioners. - Christopher Carter/staff photo
The exterior of the Keller House in Bremerton. The Keller House was a $4.3 million construction project and land was donated for it in 2007 by the Kitsap County Board of Commissioners.
— image credit: Christopher Carter/staff photo

Three years in the making, mental health advocates are hailing the opening of Bremerton’s Keller House — named for former Kitsap Mental Health Executive Director Larry Keller — as a step forward in serving Kitsap’s mentally ill.

“It sure turned out nice,” Keller said. “It will meet a lot of client needs.”

A ribbon-cutting ceremony and appearances by state and local lawmakers Wednesday marked the opening of the house as, among other things, a replacement for the World War II-era Burwell House.

The new 16,000-square-foot facility is used primarily to temporarily house transitional patients. It will have 16 beds — 11 for short-term patients and five for those needing long-term care.

The first to take up residence at the new facility will be carry-overs from the three-story Burwell House building near Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, said spokeswoman Rochelle Doan.

Doan said Burwell House wasn’t serving its patients well, was cramped and had accessibility problems.

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