More than 100 people joined hands in prayer during the blessing and groundbreaking of the Adolescent Treatment and Healing Center on Ma‘alo Road Jan. 4. Contributed photo

More than 100 people attended the groundbreaking and blessing of the site of Kaua‘i’s Adolescent Treatment and Healing Center on Ma‘alo Road Jan. 4, according to a county news release.

“Our children are our highest priority and this center will provide our keiki with appropriate levels of substance abuse services, including residential treatment,” Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. said.

Located on a 5.8-acre parcel donated by Grove Farm Company, the center will consist of an integrated treatment and healing center with the capacity to provide a comprehensive, collaborative, community-based, clinically sound, and family-centered infrastructure for delivery of mental health and substance-abuse related supportive services to adolescents.

State and county officials, along with stakeholders take part in the ground breaking of the Adolescent Treatment and Healing Center. Contributed photo

“An on-island Adolescent Treatment and Healing Center would reduce the number of youth entering the juvenile system, serve as an alternative to locked facilities, and encourage community and family-based engagement,” said Theresa Koki, coordinator for Life’s Choices Kaua‘i.

The center will include an eight-bedroom residential structure that may be expanded; with additional open space for recreational and agricultural healing activities; and a building dedicated for community and/or professional treatment support services with an attached classroom/training module.

The County of Kaua‘i plans to contract the center to an experienced service provider to operate the facility. Additionally, the Hawai‘i State Department of Education will provide a part-time teacher.

The County of Kaua‘i was awarded $5 million of Capital Improvement Project funds for construction and site improvements of the center.

Alaea Corp. is contracted with off-site infrastructure and the center’s architect is Marc Ventura, AIA. Construction is set to begin shortly.

Contact Theresa Koki at 241-4925 or for more information.