Springs Rescue Mission began construction on Phase II of its Homeless Resource Campus March 12. The groundbreaking ceremony took place at 5 W. Las Vegas St.

The $5.5 million project includes a new 200-seat dining facility and a single-point-of-entry welcome center, according to a news release issued by the mission. The current dining facility seats 65 people at a time.

“With 550 or more meals served a day, SRM often provides seven rotating meal periods, leaving many guests out in the cold for too long,” the release said.

The new dining facility, scheduled to open in early 2020, will also have classrooms and workshops for culinary arts programs that will help men and women in work programs develop job skills. The new welcome center will have lockers available for safe storage of possessions.

“Volunteers and staff will help guide guest to services that are helpful for their unique situations,” Travis Williams, chief development officer at Springs Rescue Mission said in the release. “They’ll be able to store their belongings in a secure storage facility, walking freely about campus without the burden of keeping their belongings safe.”

Guests currently  have access to 26 partner agencies on campus, “and by making the environment more secure and stable, more people will have access to the help they need,” the release said.

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GE Johnson, the Colorado Springs-based construction company, is contracted to build the dining hall and welcome center. The project is funded by Springs Rescue Mission’s Capital Campaign to Build a Community of Hope. Most of the funds used to complete this project came from private donations or from city and foundation grants, the release said.

“Springs Rescue Mission strives to provide a safe, warm, and welcoming environment for the city’s most vulnerable,” Williams said. “The completion of our campus will provide better point-of-need care along with long-term restoration for homeless neighbors.”