The Hanley Center plans the biggest expansion of its operation near St. Mary’s Medical Center, in an effort to deal with a need it wishes wasn’t there: a burgeoning population of addicted adolescents and young adults.
The nationally recognized nonprofit addiction treatment center has submitted to West Palm Beach city planners a $30 million to $45 million plan that will add 120 beds and create 144 jobs.
It plans to add several buildings to its main campus, including two residential halls with 60 beds for young clients, and build a north campus with a 59,728-square-foot, 60-bed group home for detoxification and rehabilitation.
The expansion will have a total economic impact of $21.7 million, including a doubling of hotel room nights, from 2,460 to 5,280 a year, for relatives coming to town to support patients, said Andrew Rothermel, Hanley’s chief executive officer and president of Caron Treatment Centers’ Florida operations.
“We’ve seen an explosion of adolescent issues with these substances,” Rothermel said, referring to painkillers such as oxycodone in addition to anti-depressants, alcohol and marijuana. “It’s a combination of more people in trouble but also more people seeking help.”
City Commissioner Sylvia Moffett, whose district includes Hanley, said she toured the complex about two months ago and got details of the expansion plans and is “very much in favor.”
She said she didn’t expect much opposition from area neighborhoods because “most of the places on 45th Street are the hospital (St. Mary’s) and other caregivers. If we can have people go to some place such as this, a real facility instead of one of those ‘sober houses,’ we’d be doing a great service.”
Bob Beaulieu, president of the Northwood Hills Neighborhood Association, the closest city association to Hanley, said he hadn’t heard of its expansion plans bud said there’s always concern about the busy 45th Street corridor.
“There’s always impacts, whether they’re intended or not,” he said.
Hanley’s existing facility includes an administrative center along 45th Street south of St. Mary’s Medical Center and a 12-acre, 82-bed treatment complex west of the hospital.
Hanley has asked the city to OK a major expansion of that “west campus.” It wants to build two new structures there — a chapel and an athletics and wellness center — and add onto six buildings, creating separate male and female residential halls for adolescents, ages 13 to 17, and young adults, 18 to 26.
The breakdown: 40 beds for boys and 20 beds for girls. Centers nationwide have historically seen a 2-to-1 ratio, said Rachel Docekal, chief executive officer for the Hanley Center Foundation.
Adults from their mid-20s to mid-40s also will be housed at the west campus.
Hanley is also asking to build on the nearly 5-acre site of the former Hillcrest Manor nursing and rehabilitation center, about a mile north of 45th Street. It plans a 60-bed unit for “baby boomers” — ages 46 to 64 — as well as seniors. It also plans a separate 16,000-square-foot, 2-story structure for future uses.
According to a city staff memo, Hillcrest Manor closed around 2005 and the property was sold to Hanley in December 2011, with all the buildings leveled in September 2012.
Hanley also bought a 3-acre site next to the Hillcrest Manor tract from the Diocese of Palm Beach County. It contains two buildings totaling 10,000 square feet, which Hanley is using for staff.
The city’s planning board unanimously passed Hanley’s plan in August. The city commission is set to hold a “first reading” and vote Monday and a second and final vote Oct. 15.
If the city OKs the projects, Hanley hopes to start construction next summer and open the first phase in 1½ to two years, with the entire complex finished in about four years, Rothermel said.
Hanley’s about to embark on a big financial campaign, first within its circle of supporters and later in the overall community, Rothermel said.
About 45 percent of Hanley’s clients in West Palm Beach are from South Florida, with the rest generally coming from the Southeast, Rothermel said.
While the facility has said it treats people “13 to 113,” it has been sending young adults and adolescents — some as young as 9 — to Caron Treatment Centers in Pennsylvania.
Rothermel said Hanley had begun planning a major expansion in treating young people and “knew we needed more land,” and jumped when the Hillcrest property came available.
Hanley also must deal with the fact that its original buildings, now more than 25 years old, don’t all comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Jack Hanley, then chairman of the Monsanto Corporation, and his wife, Mary Jane, founded the Hanley-Hazelden Center in West Palm Beach in 1986 after Mary Jane recovered from alcoholism. Their granddaughter is married to Rothermel.
What had been Hanley-Hazelden ended in 2004 when Hanley broke with the Hazelden Foundation. It merged with Pennsylvania-based Caron Treatment Centers in 2012.