‘Luxury’ rehab center to openOwner realizes ‘vision’ at Summit Quest property

By on July 20, 2011

By: KAREN SHUEY Review Staff kshuey.eph@lnpnews.com, Staff Writer

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Ephrata

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Review Peter Schorr said that when he visited a sprawling, hilltop facility in Ephrata Borough at the suggestion of a friend, he knew it could be the site of "something ground-breaking, something truely unique."

"It’s been my dream for quite some time to find the perfect place to open a luxury drug and alcohol rehab center with all the amenities — this is it," said Schorr, surveying the construction around him, as busy workers put the finishing touches on his business venture — the Retreat at Lancaster County.

The expansive campus at 1170 S. State St., which began in the 1960s as the Foodergong Lodge, is being transformed into an exclusive 120-bed treatment center.

Schorr said the project, which he said will come with a pricetag of about $10 million when finished, will put the area on the map as home to "the premier drug and alcohol center on the East Coast."

An entrepreneur originally from New York, Schorr has spent a few decades developing the concept.

"I saw the potential as soon as I saw the place because I wanted to open a place that would have more of a ‘campus feel,’" he said.

Schorr moved to Denver shortly after purchasing the property in March and said he’s excited about the opportunity to help people who are in need. As a longtime treatment counselor and program supervisor, Schorr knows the value of programs such as Retreat at Lancaster County.

"I saw many friends and family members die from addiction, so this is my passion and not about the money," he said. "It’s rewarding but this is a serious disease we’re dealing with."

Admission to the center is voluntary. It accepts only private payment and insurance, and its staff will be experienced in the substance abuse treatment field, Schorr said.

The campus formerly housed other treatment facilities, most recently Summit Quest Academy — a behavioral facility for problem youth, which closed its doors in the spring of 2009. The facility received little support from the community through its history, something the new owner is trying to change with this new venture.

The retreat is being retrofitted with several preventive and security measures to ensure not only the clients’ privacy, but to ease any concerns neighbors might have.

"We will be treating adults only, which means that if they don’t want to be here and aren’t serious about their recovery, they will be told to leave," Schorr said.

He added that because the facility is privately funded, he and his staff are able to be discriminating in the clients they accept.

"The whole point of a rehab center is to focus on recovery. We want our clients to be as comfortable as possible," Schorr said. "That means thinking of everything, from bringing in a chef to make sure the food is the best to building a koi pond to add ambiance."

It also included a lot more than slapping on a fresh layer of paint, although that was part of the transformation.

"You want your clients to feel comfortable so they can concentrate on what they’re here for, and they’re here for treatment," Schorr said.

The buildings on the property were repainted in a greenish hue, covering up the butterscotch-yellow color it had been in the past. Stone was also added to the facade of the many campus structures.

Inside the buildings, the renovations have been extensive — especially for those that will house clients. The cement walls and ceilings were covered with drywall to give the center a more comfortable and homey atmosphere. Wooden floors were installed to complete the look.

When furniture is added, the rooms will contain full size beds with dressers and bedside tables made by local Amish woodworkers. Lounges will house leather couches and flat screen televisions.

Amenities include a library, state-of-the art fitness center, computer rooms, a patio with barbecue grills, an outdoor amphitheater for "drive-in" movies and classrooms where group and individual therapy will be practiced.

The center, Schorr said, will employ 175 staff once the facility is running at full capacity. He has been and is still looking for people who will help him complete his vision. He’s seeking medical professionals, counselors, admission staff, housekeeping and kitchen staff that will make the retreat what he hopes it will be — cutting edge.

Schorr said being a part of the Ephrata community is important to the future of the center and hopes neighbors will come check out the facility before it starts accepting patients. An open house event will take place Aug. 11.

Retreat at Lancaster County will open its doors to clients a few days later on Aug. 15. More REHAB CENTER, page A6

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