New home for Prairie Center

New home for Prairie Center

Ribbon-cutting, open house set for Sept. 8

DANVILLE — Prairie Center Health Systems has a new Danville location.

The agency, which provides substance-abuse prevention and treatment services, opened for business this week at 1222 E. Voorhees St., known to many as the old Mettam Safety building.

The public can tour the facility at a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house, which will be held at 5 p.m. Sept. 8.

"The staff really likes it, and we hope our clients do too," said Susan Perkins, clinical director of the outpatient treatment center.

"Our old building was very industrial-looking, and we didn't have any windows, so you couldn't tell what time of day it was or what the weather was like," she continued. "This building is more modern, and it has a warm, more inviting atmosphere. We think it will be very calming and therapeutic for our clients."

Prairie Center had been leasing the upper level of The Heartland Center at 128 N. Vermilion St. downtown.

However, the building's old elevator — which provided access to people with disabilities — started having problems, said CEO Bruce Suardini.

"It just aged to the point where it was hard to get parts. Because of the extreme expense of putting in a new elevator, it was better for us to move," he said, adding that officials began looking for another location a couple years ago.

The agency remodeled the building, which had largely consisted of offices and a warehouse area. The center now has 16 offices, three large meeting rooms, a board room, a reception area, a kitchen, restrooms and a storage areas.

"It's all barrier-free and on one level," Suardini added.

In addition, the property has 45 parking spaces and a Danville Mass Transit bus stop at its front door.

"That will be really convenient for our clients," Suardini said.

In addition to the Danville site, Prairie Center runs an inpatient treatment center for adults in Champaign and another outpatient treatment center for adolescents and adults in Urbana. It serves 5,000 clients a year, including 500 in Vermilion County.

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