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Valley Focus

Lake View Terrace : Drug-Rehab Facility Expands Operation

October 05, 1995|TIM MAY

The Phoenix Academy in Lake View Terrace has increased the number of teen-age drug abusers it treats from 50 to about 90, officials with the center said.

The facility's conditional-use permit allows for as many as 100 youths to live at the center, where they receive drug treatment, therapy and counseling and attend a full-time school. The academy, which opened in December, is the largest of the three in California run by the nonprofit Phoenix House Foundation.

"We're a little behind in the expansion," said Elizabeth Stanley-Salazar, director of operations at the center. "As we're adding more students, we're also adding staff, and that involves a lot of training."

Although the facility was opposed by area homeowners before it was established, Lake View Terrace residents group leaders now concede that the academy and its residents have presented few problems to the community.

For their part, academy officials say they have tried to listen closely to neighbors' concerns. In response to worries about lax security, academy officials installed an electronic gate at the entrance and have enhanced surveillance of the grounds.

In addition, community members and Phoenix officials are discussing opening a technology/computer training center at the academy, which would be available part-time to area residents, Stanley-Salazar said.

Equipment would be provided by the Los Angeles County Office of Education. The center would serve as a satellite training center for county education officials, Stanley-Salazar said.

"This could be a very good thing for the community, especially if we can get some of our kids in there," said Nancy Snider, president of the Lake View Terrace Homeowners Assn. Snider said most homeowners favor the plan but want to ensure that the computers are readily accessible to the community.

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