Drug treatment center eyed for former rest home
Greenfield Planning Board will take up proposal at tonight’s 7 p.m. meeting
GREENFIELD — A nonprofit agency that serves western Massachusetts hopes to buy and renovate the former Pioneer Valley Rest Home for a 25-bed women’s substance abuse treatment facility on Montague City Road.
The town’s Planning Board will be discussing the project tonight. The board will meet at 7 p.m. in the meeting room in 114 Main St. with the Center for Human Development.
Jim Goodwin, president and chief executive officer of the nonprofit, which offers men, women, children and families a broad range of programs, including ones for people with intellectual or physical disabilities, homelessness prevention and substance abuse programs, cancer support, and more, said the center is considering buying the property if the town’s Planning Board approves the project, which would include about $300,000 in renovations and upgrades.
Regional experts on substance abuse said in a recent Recorder series on addiction that there is a big demand for residential drug treatment programs in the area. There is only one residential drug rehabilitation program in the county for women, and two for men, with about 20 beds each. Former addicts expressed frustration with the scarcity of such programs.
Jordan Quinn, a developer who had said in 2009 that she’d like to open a bed and breakfast there, still owns the property. She bought it in April 2009 for $50,000.
The former rest home closed in 2006 and has not been occupied since, so Goodwin said it is in disrepair. He said CHD would renovate the main building and its two wings, but would probably have to demolish the two smaller buildings on the property.
Goodwin said CHD won’t be signing any purchase agreements until it knows whether the town will be behind the project.
“It’s the perfect spot for what we’ll be using it for,” he said. “There’s the perfect combination of isolation and being close to town.”
He said residents would stay for about three months. They would go through treatment and take part in different programs and would then leave when they were ready.
“We’ve done the research and believe there’s a big need for this type of facility in that area,” said Goodwin.
Goodwin said the main building’s wiring has been updated and a new heating system was installed, but there’s a lot more to be done.
“We’ll see where this goes,” he said.
At the time it closed, the 50-year-old rest home had 22 patients and 15 staffers.