The new Women’s Recovery from Addictions Program (WRAP) at the Taunton State Hospital campus opened last week to female residents seeking treatment for substance abuse. This is the first treatment facility for civilly committed women in Massachusetts, a crucial step in the State’s effort to end the practice of sending addicted women to prison at MCI Framingham. At the ribbon cutting ceremony, Governor Charlie Baker and his team spoke about the significance of the project in light of the recent opioid epidemic, and the incredible transformation that the space has made in the past 10 months.
“Ending the long disputed practice of committing women to prison at MCI Framingham is an important step toward providing women with the proper treatment as they begin the path to recovery,” said Governor Baker.
Major renovations to create the new units, which are located in a 17,100 square foot former DMH inpatient unit, took 9 months to complete. The new, 30-bed WRAP includes a north and south unit with double and single bedrooms, private treatment space, a dining room, a day room, a lounge, a fitness room, admin offices, a secure intake area, and secure outdoor recreation areas. The renovations cost approximately $15 million.
“Transforming this 60 year-old building into a therapeutic space for women recovering from addition was a challenge we relished.” said Studio G’s Managing Principal, Gail Sullivan. “We opened interior walls in common areas to bring light in and let residents see out. This turned a rigid institutional hallway into a more relaxed connecting space, so that residents can see into every room before entering, engage with staff and other residents over the coffee counter, and make the small daily choices they’ve been denied. New lighting and finishes bring light, vitality and life to the space, and hopefully to residents’ lives.”
DCAMM Commissioner Carol Gladstone and Deputy Commissioner Elizabeth Minnis were strong advocates for the project. Their team worked closely with Studio G’s Project Manager, Robin Greenberg, throughout the design and construction process.
“Studio G accomplished high quality work in a grossly accelerated schedule,” said Minnis. “Through renovating an old mental hospital with major systems upgrades, the design team found opportunities to introduce moments of delight – such as opening up interior walls to let daylight flow in and views extend out. Residents can view nature from every room, and use new therapeutic landscapes to aid their healing. Fresh finishes and accent colors make the interiors come alive. This is truly a wonderful environment for healing and recovery from addiction.”
Perhaps the most meaningful feedback that the WRAP program has received so far was from the very first resident to enter the new space:
“You did this for US?”
For more information, check out this article from South Coast Today: http://www.southcoasttoday.com/article/20160721/NEWS/160729809