One “groundbreaking” day

MASON CITY, Iowa – It was a big day for Mark Neibauer and his team.

“This is arguably the most exciting day of my professional career, honestly,” says Four Oaks Director, Mark Neibauer.

He has been looking at plans, fundraising, and talking with other professionals for the past two years. It’s all for the future of his organization; Four Oaks, a facility that helps young children with mental health and behavioral issues.

“We have 42 kids that we serve and we just needed, not only better facilities in terms of upgrades, but more state-of-the-art that helps us take care of the kids in terms of supervision, and part of the process of treatment,” says Neibauer.

The current building is just not able to meet their demands.

Senator Amanda Ragan has also been keeping an eye on this project from the beginning and sees the value in this new facility.

“It’s a great day because we’re moving dirt and there is a great opportunity ahead of us, for North Iowa, for the children, and for the staff that have been so involved and wanting to care for everyone,” says Ragan.

At times, Four Oaks is forced to send children to other states because the Mason City location cannot take them in or their needs are beyond what they can provide.

“It’s great to bring the kids back here, because right now we’re spending more out-of-state for the services provided to them and this way we can get them home and at the greater cost savings, but also we have great staff here that are going to be trained to make sure that their lives are better,” says Ragan.

This new facility will change all of that.

“It’s going to enhance treatment. It’s going to enhance their ability to get back home as soon as they can,” says Neibauer.

For now, he says it’s time to enjoy how far they’ve come.

“Today is a day of celebration, a day of bringing out the people who made this a reality, North Iowa has been outstanding,” says Neibauer.

A year from now, the facilities should be completed.

It is a $3 million dollar project. So far, they have raised over $800,000 towards their $1 million goal.

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