Addiction treatment facility in Richmond undergoing major renovation

Addiction treatment facility in Richmond undergoing major renovation
Problems are found across RBHA's North Campus.

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - An addiction treatment facility in the city of Richmond is renovating its entire campus.

Richmond Behavioral Health Authority (RBHA) is in the midst of a major renovation project at its North Campus where there are residential and outpatient substance use treatment programs for men and women in need.

RBHA acquired the facility nearly two years ago from the former nonprofit organization, Rubicon Inc., that had run the facility for almost 40 years.

RBHA's North Campus is a six-building, multi-program operation providing treatment and recovery programs for up to 80 individuals.

The facility consists of numerous buildings including the men's treatment center and the women's treatment center. The men's treatment center consists of three residential floors.

One floor has 24 beds for men and women with co-occurring substance abuse and mental health disorders.

The two other floors are strictly men's residential treatment. There is also another wing for medically assisted withdraw management center, otherwise known as detox.

There are 60 people in this building between the programs.

There is also a women's treatment center strictly for women. Right now, there are about 20 women being helped.

There is a vacant, unoccupied building that is being renovated due to problems like mold and asbestos. This building was and will be used for the children of women in the program.

RBH is also working to re-open a fitness facility on the campus that has been closed for years. It will be part of a health and wellness program on the campus.

There is also a transition house for men and a vacant building that RBHA hopes to make a women's transition house. Right now, there are nine people in the men's transition home. These individuals have completed a program but have nowhere to go.

RBHA helps them find a job; they pay a small rent fee for staying in the building and getting back on their feet.

When RBHA acquired the campus, much of it was in disrepair. There is chipped paint, railings and parts of the structures falling off on the campus. Some of the floors and rooms inside the buildings are in the same condition.

Since RBHA acquired the facility, there has been major progress in revamping it. They've spent about $750,000 on the grounds, fixing railings, creating a walking trail, painting and fixing roofs.

They also replaced the HVAC system in buildings as well as updated the bathrooms. They've spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on plumbing and are in a contract to renovate the women's facility for $2.4 million.

"The campus has a large lower field. We've already added a walking trail so residents and staff can do their laps if they choose," said John Lindstrom, CEO of RBHA. "The center area we are developing a meditation space, additional enhancements to fitness and a kitchen, garden program."

Lindstrom said the undertaking to fix the facility will cost upwards of $5 million.

"We haven't identified all the funds for them," Lindstrom said. "Some of the renovations had to be accomplished for health and safety reasons. Our goal in all of this is not to make this a Taj Mahal. but to make it comfortable enough for you and I to stay at and feel safe in."

RBHA is quasi-governmental. Of the $60 million yearly budget, it receives only a little more than $2 million from the city.

They receive gr ants, too, but need help from the community to complete the project. (Click here for information on how to help.)

When the renovations are complete, the facility's capacity will go from about 80 people currently to over 150.

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