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Betty Ford Center approved for $30M expansion to allow more patients to be treated

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Nicole Hayden | Palm Springs Desert Sun | 

The Betty Ford Center will move forward with a planned $30 million expansion project after receiving approval from Rancho Mirage City Council last month.

The center was established in 1982 on a portion of the Eisenhower Health campus but is not affiliated with the hospital. It is a private, nonprofit drug and alcohol treatment center. The center provides in-patient and out-patient treatment and rehabilitation programs.

"This expansion — our most significant since opening the Betty Ford Center in 1982 — will add recovery resources to the community at a time when more people are struggling with substance use and mental health issues," said Christopher Yadron, Betty Ford Center administrator and west region vice president.

Construction to update the 100-bed residential facility is slated to begin in late spring 2021, with an expected 2024-25 completion, according to the Betty Ford Center.

Currently, the facility has five residential buildings with 20 beds each, plus five other buildings that house support services, according to a Rancho Mirage Planning Department staff report.

The Betty Ford Center expansion project will break ground in spring 2021

BETTY FORD CENTER

The project calls for removing four of the current residential buildings and replacing them with a pair of two-story residential buildings, which each would house 46 beds. Each of the two buildings would be 30,935 square feet.

Additionally, a new one-story, 22,748-square-foot day-treatment facility would be built on what is currently a vacant portion of the center’s campus. The facility would be able to accommodate 44 day-treatment patients. The building would also include additional administrative space, a computer lab and a lecture hall.

These plans would increase the Betty Ford Center’s capacity from 100 beds to 156 beds and increase the total campus from 137,200 square feet to 170,000 square feet.

"By expanding our capacity by 56 beds, several hundred more people will be able to get the help they need each year," Yadron said. "We'll also be increasing safety, improving access by implementing the very latest ADA requirements, and expanding our ability to improve outcomes by keeping people engaged in a long-term continuum of care."

The project will be built over three phases, with the single-story day treatment building slated to be built first. Phase two will see the old residential buildings demolished and one new residential building constructed. The final phase will see the construction of the second residential building.

The project also includes modifications to landscaping, parking spaces and the development of a new driveway onto the campus from Vista Del Sol.

The addition of the driveway is predicted to not impact traffic flow along the road. After the project is complete, it is predicted that Vista Del Sol will have 2,800 vehicle trips per day, including Betty Ford patients and workers as well as general traffic in the area a. This constitute about 23% of the road’s capacity, according to a traffic study detailed in the city’s staff report.

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