4321 Allendale Avenue, Duluth, MN 55803-1562 • 218.728.7500 • 800-64.HILLS • fax 218-728-7501 • www.TheHillsYFS.org
August 6, 2018 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
East Bethel City Council Unanimously Approves Conditional Use Permit
East Bethel, MN—The Hills Youth and Family Services’ long search for a site for its 60-bed children’s psychiatric residential treatment facility has finally and officially come to a close. On Wednesday, August 1, the East Bethel City Council approved The Hills’ conditional use permit application by a unanimous, 5-0, vote. The East Bethel vote comes less than four months after dozens of Forest Lake citizens and mental health advocates failed to secure approval from that city council.
Steve Voss, East Bethel Mayor, said “The City of East Bethel has been focused on expanding growth in our city through additional housing choices, more retail and personal services, and providing local jobs. The City Council’s approval of the Cambia Hills project helps the city meet these goals while addressing the mental health treatment needs for adolescent youth in our city, region, and state. ”
The Hills facility is one of three psychiatric residential treatment facilities for children recently licensed by the Minnesota Department of Human Services to provide a new level of care to Minnesota children with mental illnesses. The Hills’ $30 million facility will be the largest of the three and the only purpose-built facility. The other two providers, Northwood Children’s Services and Clinicare, chose to remodel existing facilities but The Hills is partnering with Kraus Anderson, TKDA, and Architectural Investments to build a brand new, 65,000 square foot facility.
Jeff Bradt, CEO, said “The Hills board of directors saw this as an opportunity to advance the field. The goal of residential care is to create an all-encompassing therapeutic environment in which everything that happens, 24 hours/day, seven days/week, is designed to help the child get better. We wanted to push the envelope, to create the optimal therapeutic environment.”
When asked about the facility design, Ken Johnson, a principal at TKDA and lead architect on the project, said “Our team includes architects with extensive experience in the design of psychiatric facilities. This design raises the bar. The residential living suites have wide hallways, vaulted ceilings and scenic views. Institutional features—like nursing stations—have been hidden or removed.”
The facility will be located on a 37 acre site that will enable The Hills to replicate the animal husbandry and therapeutic horticulture programs that have been a stable at its Duluth site for decades.
Cambia Hills East Bethel will bring 150 new jobs to the area and is slated to open October 2019. Groundbreaking will take place this fall.
Contact: Tonya Land, Communications Specialist