By springtime, residents of the Valley will have access to a new behavioral healthcare facility.

A behavioral health organization called Darrin’s Place is planning to open the facility, repurposing the 37,000-square-foot former Española Valley Nursing and Rehabilitation Center building on Calle Hacienda with the help of the County.

Darrin’s Place Chief Growth Officer Jeff Lymburner said Monday that the organization is hoping to open the facility in late March and expects it to be fully operational one or two months after that.

Approximately 100 people will be able to receive treatment for substance use disorder, Lymburner said. The facility will also create about 70 new jobs for the Valley.

Lymburner said the organization’s model is “very unique, because it’s extremely personalized and diverse.”

The organization offers over 20 services­—including anger management, dialectical behavioral therapy, 12 step meetings and medication management—and uses these services to tailor clients’ treatment to their needs, based on their personal histories.

A number of social services agencies, the New Mexico Corrections Department, families and individuals will be able to refer people for treatment, Lymburner said. He was not able to specify which agencies, as Darrin’s Place is still working to form partnerships with them.

It is funded by its own management team, Lymburner said. It will rent the old nursing home building for 55 cents per square foot from Rio Arriba County—which will bring around $240,000 for the County each year.

The County purchased the building for $900,000 from a real estate investment trust called Omega, after Rep. Susan Herrera, D-Embudo, led an effort at the last legislative to obtain $1 million for the purchase.

The County will also receive $500,000 from a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant, according to County Economic Development Director Christopher Madrid. He said the award was verbally awarded to the County in December.

With that money and the remaining $100,000, the County is repurposing the facility. Architect John Layman from Albuquerque-based NCA Architects has been commissioned to design a new entrance as well as fencing. Madrid said the purpose of the fencing is to keep drugs off the premises.

Lymburner said the organization is viewing this facility as a “blueprint” for potential others.

“We view this as the first of what we hope will be several,” he said.

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