ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — The number of people seeking outpatient treatment for addictions in Minnesota continues to grow and rehab centers just can’t keep up. That’s why the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is kicking off a $25 million expansion at its “Fellowship Club” campus in St. Paul on Thursday.
Officials will hold a groundbreaking ceremony at the campus, located on Stewart Avenue between West 7th and Shepard Road, at 3 p.m. to kick off the new construction.
The Hazelden campus will soon be able to serve double — perhaps triple — the number of outpatients when the expansion is complete.
The Fellowship Club was founded in 1953 as a place for newly sober patients to go to be in a safe environment and to get help with re-integrating into their daily lives. The building itself hasn’t been upgraded or renovated since 1979.
Officials say there has been a dramatic increase in the need for outpatient chemical and mental health services and they’re currently at maximum capacity.
The expansion will add a new 55,000-square-foot building, plus remodeling of the current structures over the next two years, with new rooms, more space for counseling and staff, a gym, cafeteria and more. The project is slated to be completed by October 2016.
One of the directors said services are changing as attitudes and treatment toward additions change and develop.
“Today, in 2014, we’re approaching it as a chronic disease. So we’re trying to approach it from a life-long disease management model,” said John Engebreth, director of clinical operations.
Currently, some rooms are being turned into office space so the facility doesn’t have to turn anyone away during construction.