Sunday, February 25, 2024

County OKs $25 million budget for recovery center, groundbreaking in January

The Healing Place will be located on a 8.7-acre undeveloped lot on Medical Center Drive (center). (Port City Daily photo/Courtesy Google Maps)
The Healing Place will be located on a 8.7-acre undeveloped lot on Medical Center Drive (center). (Port City Daily photo/Courtesy Google Maps)

NEW HANOVER COUNTY — New Hanover County Commissioners approved a $24 million budget amendment Monday, bringing the total construction budget for the long-planned The Healing Place detox center to $25.4 million.

The approved budget does not include operational costs required to run the facility after it opens in May 2022; those figures have not been made available.

Related: County to consider $25.4 million ‘Healing Place’ budget for new detox center

Upon completion, the facility will be owned by the county and managed by Kentucky-based The Healing Place, a company that touts an abstinence-based, substance-use recovery program.

Trillium Health, which originally planned the project, ditched its previously announced local partners, Coastal Horizons, earlier this year. Coastal Horizons uses medically assisted treatment interventions, including the use of Suboxone, to help patients recover from opioid addiction. Initially, Trillium had plans to own and operate an all-male facility to reduce local jail populations. After it encountered funding issues, the company later asked the county to take over to see the project through.

Now being planned as both a men’s and women’s recovery center, and serving patients for free, the county’s The Healing Place will be the only coed center of its kind the company will operate in the country.

With 200 total beds, county manager Chris Coudriet said the county is guaranteed at least 50 beds per night. Based on a partnership with Trillium, Coudriet said the facility must serve residents of the region — not just New Hanover County.

“We know the preponderance of the problem is largely in our community,” Coudriet said at Monday’s meeting. “It will, in the end, be largely made up of community members. But it cannot be restricted to New Hanover County.”

Coudriet said Brunswick County has committed to 20 beds for men and women each night. The commitment will eventually come with some financial reimbursement.

Construction on the $25.2 million project will begin in late January, according to Kevin Caison, the county’s facilities project manager.

Located on undeveloped land on Medical Center Drive, The Healing Place will be located across the street from Oculoplastic Consultants of the Carolinas.

Plans show the new campus will include five one-story buildings surrounding a central courtyard. Facilities will include shelter, client housing, a dining hall, a non-medical detox unit, educational, program, and administrative space, as well as other support services, according to contract documents.

Design for The Healing Place is now complete, which will bring a 200-bed detox facility to Medical Center Drive for an estimated $25 million. (Port City Daily photo/Courtesy New Hanover County)

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