April 7, 2011 at 9:14 a.m.

Local officials get early tour of multi-million dollar Hazelden renovations

Local officials get early tour of multi-million dollar Hazelden renovations
Local officials get early tour of multi-million dollar Hazelden renovations

Hazelden officials will be celebrating the completion of a multi-million dollar project, in Center City, with a ribbon-cutting April 29. The projects involved renovations to one existing building and the addition of about 900 square feet to create a 24/7 medical unit and new main entry for admissions.

Hazelden's John Driscoll gave local elected officials and others a tour of the new Ignatia Medical Unit during the annual community leaders luncheon, hosted by Hazelden last week.

The luncheon gives county, city and state policymakers a chance to meet annually and be updated on Hazelden outreach and community involvement. Some local officials attending included State Rep. Bob Barrett, the mayors from Center City and Chisago City, county commissioners George McMahon and Rick Greene, the county HHS Director, Sheriff's Chief Deputy Chad Worden and two First Responders from Center City's fire department.

Patients will begin to move into the medical unit next week. As those beds begin to be occupied, the facility will no longer be accessible to the public. Driscoll explained that even though the site was still under active construction, the annual luncheon was the only opportunity to tour the Ignatia Medical Unit.

At the ribbon cutting celebration people will, however, be able to enjoy the new main entry with its unique design and public art.

Driscoll said the construction projects at the Center City campus took about 10 months and total value is $4.8 million. Long range plans for the Center City site could result in a variety of smaller projects taking place over the next three to four years, he added.

Hazelden also anticipates adding 40 employees in 2011, many will be in the expanding after-care/recovery support initiative called MORE and employees will also be needed to support Hazelden's publications and on-line presence. The master's degree educational division has a goal of tripling its student enrollment.

An announcement by Chisago County HRA/EDA Director Chris Eng that there's a new motel under development in Chisago City came as good news to an education department supervisor who said there's a shortage of places where students can find housing while enrolled in sessions at Center City.


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