An addiction treatment center is having a hard time recovering from a devastating fire.
According to officials, improperly discarded smoking materials started the fire at the Mount Regis Center in December. It happened just months before the organization was set to move into a new building and transform original space into an outpatient rehab facility.
Seven months after the fire, the front door is still boarded up, the window glass is still broken, and the charred remains of the Mount Regis Center are still standing, leaving neighbors concerned.
“It’s an eyesore,” said Paul Dickerson, who lives near the Mount Regis Center. “They say that the parking lot is not monitored, and cars are parked over there all the time.”
The CEO of the addiction recovery center said he is just as upset.
“It’s going much slower than we expected and much slower than we had hoped,” said Curt Lane.
The fate of the building is out of the Mount Regis Center’s control, Lane said. He said he and the center’s parent company, Acadia Healthcare, want to rebuild from scratch. But he said the insurance company wants to renovate the existing building.
“This is our legacy property – we call this our legacy house,” Lane said. “We actually had marketing materials written up about it and really want to use this building urgently.”
The original building was supposed to offer outpatient therapy and family counseling services after inpatient care was moved to the new building, he said.
“We have a need in the community we’re trying to meet, and we just cannot do that without this facility,” Lane said.
Letters have been sent out to neighbors apologizing for the lack of progress, Lane said. Right now, workers are doing what they can with the property, Lane said, like mowing the lawn, gutting the inside portion of the building and getting rid of asbestos.
“We put a great deal of effort in being good neighbors, and we feel that we have very good neighbors here,” Lane said. “We enjoyed being here, so it bothers us that it bothers them.”
Officials with the Mount Regis Center still do not have a timeline for when construction could begin, Lane said. The fire did cause them to lose equipment and move up the opening of the new facility by a month, but luckily, insurance covered those costs, he added.