A former laundry on the outskirts of Canterbury's Hillmorton mental health campus is being transformed into a centre for children and teenagers.
The new child and youth mental health community outpatient facility is being funded by the Mental Health Foundation and Te Whatu Ora.
The structural strengthening of the foundations and core of the existing building by Hann Construction is expected to take six months. At the same time, the design of internal spaces and landscaping plan are being finalised.
"With the builders on site, our vision for a better space for our children and young people is coming to life," said Māia Health Foundation Chief Executive Michael Flatman.
"While we still have a way to go to reach the $6 million required to finish this project, having the strengthening begin sends a strong signal to our young people and our community that this promised new space is on the way."
It will replace the current run-down facilities that are split across two sites at The Princess Margaret Hospital and the Hillmorton campus.
Te Whatu Ora Waitaha Canterbury Executive Director of Infrastructure Dr Rob Ojala said seeing work start on the new facility is very special.
"Our specialist mental health service team has worked tirelessly to support the increasing number of young people who need our help.
"Seeing work begin on this fabulous new facility fills us with excitement and hope for what the future will bring, and the difference this facility will make.
"Māia's support has meant that we have been able to really enhance this facility, adding features such as the sensory room and outdoor area which will support our clinicians as they deliver care to our children and young people."
The new hub is expected to be completed in early 2024.