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The new Island View Treatment Center for Adolescents is nearing completion and will hold a public open house, Friday, Sept. 9, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. to offer tours of the 25,000-square-foot facility.

The center, located about one-half mile west of RC Willey on 2700 South - just below Bluff Road - is expected to house 34 students, ages 12-18, from all over the western United States. Approximately one-third will likely be from Utah.Jared U. Balmer, executive director of the center, said the first resident is expected to arrive Sept. 12. He said the center is licensed by the state and has a private school attached where students can graduate from junior high and high school.

"There's nothing like it in Davis County," Balmer said, saying the nearest comparable facility is the Heritage School in Provo.

The center treats adolescents - boys and girls - with maladaptive behavior and challenges them to practice pro-social behavior. It also offers individual and group psychotherapy, family therapy and treatment for drug and alcohol problems.

The facility is located on a 15-acre site in rural Syracuse and Balmer said the location was chosen because of the wide-open spaces where the students can enjoy outdoor activities.

Balmer said the center will not create a traffic problem for surrounding residents and that students are supervised 24 hours a day. Because it is a business, he said Syracuse will benefit from increased tax revenues. With a staff of 60, the center will likely be the city's second-largest employer behind RC Willey.

"I think we'll be excellent neighbors," Balmer said.

Parents pay tuition for their children at the center. It will operate year-round.

He also describes the facility as neither a hospital nor a correctional institution, but rather a carefully planned therapeutic community.

Besides Balmer, the other founders/operators of the center include W. Dean Belnap, Lorin A. Broadbent and W. Kimball DeLaMare.

In the future, Balmer said the facility could expand to handle as many as 64 students.