HAMMONTON—A 100-bed inpatient drug and alcohol rehabilitation center is coming to the Kessler Medical Arts Complex on Route 30.

The town’s Zoning Board unanimously approved the plans at a meeting March 23.

Kessler Management, along with Pyramid Healthcare Inc., behavioral health experts and project planners, discussed with town officials how they would build and open the 35,000-square-foot facility at the complex, which will also contain Bacharach Sleep Center and an ambulatory surgery center.

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Plans include separate wings for men and women, an admission screening process, transportation services and possible security measures.

Pyramid must get the application approved by the state Division of Human Services.

Bill Colgan, partner at Community Healthcare Associates, said the complex, with its new tenants, could generate about 300 new jobs.

And it would bring a much-needed service to Atlantic County, he said.

“There’s such a need identified by the state of an epidemic,” he said. “The facility is ideally suited to house a program like this, being a former hospital.”

He said Hammonton recognized the need for the services and has “worked with us to revitalize the hospital.”

Pyramid Healthcare runs rehabilitation centers and programs for adults and teens suffering from addiction and/or mental illnesses at about 80 locations in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Town officials and project representatives agreed to hold monthly briefings with the Hammonton Police Department on the operations of the facility and any issues that may arise.

Atlantic County’s rising rates of drug addiction reflect those seen statewide, including increasing numbers of heroin and opioid overdose deaths.

The county saw 85 drug-related deaths in 2015, according to the state Medical Examiner’s Office.

Community Healthcare purchased the former William B. Kessler Memorial Hospital for $2.6 million in October 2011 after bankruptcy court proceedings. The hospital closed in 2009 and was operated for a time as just an emergency facility by AtlantiCare.

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Contact:

609-272-7022 NLeonard@pressofac.com Twitter @ACPressNLeonard

Previously interned and reported for Boston.com, The Asbury Park Press, The Boston Globe

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