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New location for Serenity House?

Directors say more space needed for drug, alcohol treatment facility

Posted: Sunday, March 09, 2008

Central Peninsula General Hospital Inc. directors say their alcohol and chemical dependency treatment facility, Serenity House, needs a new home.

The current facility off Kalifornsky Beach Road would need expensive remodeling just to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act, according to the corporation's board of directors, who approved a resolution in late January authorizing replacement of the building and expansion of its capacity.

Tuesday, the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly will consider backing the idea with Resolution 2008-020, which would support CPGH Inc.'s efforts to purchase, renovate, and equip a facility that could accommodate expanding Serenity House services to at least 10 beds. The current facility has six beds.

According to the hospital board's resolution, Serenity House currently operates without a long-term lease and needs a secure location to optimize operations. The existing building would need substantial remodeling to make it accessible to people with handicaps. Furthermore, the board believes an expanded facility would increase revenues and reduce operating losses.

A potential site and facility has been identified that could accommodate expansion to 10 to 12 beds at a cost said to be significantly less than new construction, the board said. Hospital CEO Ryan Smith said Thursday they were not quite prepared to say exactly where the property is, but that it has a house on it that would meet the needs of a larger Serenity House. That information may be discussed Tuesday, he said.

Central Peninsula Hospital and Central Peninsula Health Foundation have researched, identified, and applied for grant funds to support the project, according to the CPGH board.

The board has authorized hospital administrators to spend up to $973,500 from the Plant Expansion and Replacement Fund to purchase, renovate and equip a new facility. Smith said, however, that the Denali Commission has already approved a grant of $486,750, and the board has applied for another grant from the Rasmuson Foundation. He said the project would not need a grant from the borough's general fund.

Under the hospital's Lease and Operating Agreement with the borough, purchases in excess of $250,000 require review by the Central Kenai Peninsula Hospital Service Area Board and approval by the assembly.

Should the project require more than $1 million, hospital service area voters would have to approve.

Hal Spence can be reached at hspence@ptialaska.net.



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