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Youth group home in Draper to add facilities

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DRAPER — A residential treatment center here for wayward youths is planning to construct two new buildings and add up to 30 students.

Youthcare of Utah was given the go-ahead by Draper's Planning Commission on Thursday evening to move forward with a dormitory/classroom building and a multipurpose recreation center.

The company is one of several youth treatment centers in Utah under the umbrella of California-based Aspen Education Group.

"I think its a wonderful plan," said planning commissioner Brent Anderson. "I like the looks of the building. I like the architecture. I like the function it's going to provide."

The new buildings will complete Youthcare's campus as its fourth and fifth structures, according to Draper Planner Dennis Workman. The campus sits between I-15 on the west and a neighborhood to the east at about 12600 South. The new structures will be built on property that was formerly home to Quality RV.

A public hearing held before Thursday's vote garnered no community feedback, but Youthcare Operations director Stacey Astin said her facility hasn't had any trouble with its neighbors since it opened in 1990.

The facility treats mentally ill adolescents between the ages of 11 and 17. The patients usually come from out of state, Astin said.

"These are the most acute cases," said project architect Jeff Vincent. "These are the ones that would have been hospitalized 10 years ago."

Youthcare is not a lockdown facility and doesn't deal with violent or criminal patients.

"I think this is good service to provide to the community," said commissioner Marsha Vawdrey.

E-mail: rpalmer@desnews.com