With a few swings of a sledge hammer, and knocking down a wall, a project to assure the future of Arrowhead Ranch is underway. The renovation and remodeling of the campus in Coal Valley will help it expand and offer its treatment services to more at-risk young people.
Chief executive officer, Doctor Chester Lien, says Arrowhead has been able to survive until now hosting just local young people referred by judges, schools, and parents. But enrollment has been falling, and it needs to attract more residents from outside of this area.
"It really meets the need that was pointed out in the middle 1940's - that we're the only agency that provides a service like this and for us not to provide that service would create that same condition that existed in the 1940's."
Lien says Arrowhead Ranch will begin advertising nationally in the spring, and the 3 million dollar project will be finished next summer, so new residents can be admitted in the fall.
In recent years, about 20 young people have lived at the ranch, but once the renovation and remodeling are finished, that number could more than double to 40-50. And up to ten people could be added to the current full-time staff of 50.
It was founded in 1945, and based in a farmhouse until the late 1960's when most of the current campus was built.