John Brooks Mays Landing site

The John Brooks Recovery Center plans to build a $16 million, 58,000-square-foot inpatient facility near the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission in the Hamilton Business Park.

Construction on a new, $16 million drug treatment center in Mays Landing will begin in the coming month.

A groundbreaking for the John Brooks Recovery Center in Mays Landing will be held either later this month or early December, said Michael Santillo, executive director of operations for the Brooks center.

John Brooks offers long-term residential and outpatient addiction services with case management, counseling and medication-assisted treatment at four locations in Pleasantville and Atlantic City.

The 120-bed, 58,000-square-foot facility, to be built in the Hamilton Business Park, will admit short-term and long-term residents.

Two John Brooks programs run in buildings on Tennessee and Pacific avenues in Atlantic City will be moving out of the Tourism District once the new center opens in 2019. Housed in buildings over 100 years old, Santillo said the Atlantic City locations are too outdated to continue serving patients. Those buildings will be sold to fund the new center.

“It’s been a long time coming. ... We want to get out of those old buildings,” said Santillo after he gave Sen. Robert Menendez a tour of the Pleasantville facility Friday.

The senator, who faces re-election Tuesday in a race against Republican challenger Bob Hugin, stopped by the recovery center Friday to speak about legislation he co-authored to combat the opioid epidemic as well as protecting the Affordable Care Act.

He said New Jersey will likely surpass 3,000 opioid deaths in 2018. Last year in Atlantic County alone, there were 168 overdoses.

“If we’re serious about beating opioid addiction, we must be serious about protecting access to affordable coverage,” Menendez said.

The Affordable Care Act, Santillo said, is important in getting care for low-income patients at the center.

He estimates at least 75 percent of those in recovery are on Medicaid.

“Those clients who have nowhere else to turn, we’re here for them,” Santillo said. “A lot of those folks didn’t have access to treatment before the Affordable Care Act.”