Ribbon Cutting, Grand Opening Ceremony
The ribbon cutting and grand opening ceremony for the Phoenix Academy was held Friday, April 30.
The Phoenix Academy is a residential treatment facility for adolescents from the Greenville County Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse.
Land for the facility was donated by T. Walt Brasher and the facility was funded by a grant from the State.
The late Senator J. Verne Smith was instrumental in obtaining the state funds totaling $6.2 million for the facility, and Senator Lewis Vaughn followed up on the funding after Senator Smith left the Senate and retired due to a medical condition. A portrait of Senator Smith was unveiled by members of his family and placed in the conference room of the Academy.
The ribbon was cut by Commission Chairman Charlie Shipman and Councilwoman Lottie Gibson along with Greenville County Council Chairman Butch Kirven, Senator Mike Fair and Phoenix Center Executive Director Adam Brickner.
Rev. David Simmons, pastor of Reedy River Baptist Church, located next door to the Academy, delivered the Invocation. Senator Thomas Alexander, Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee; Rep. Tracy Edge, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, along with Sen. Mike Fair and Rep. Harry Cato who represent the area where the Academy is located spoke briefly at the ceremony.
The Phoenix Academy will serve adolescents between the ages of 13 and 17 who have a “substance abuse disorder.” The Phoenix Academy will focus on residential adolescent treatment for drug and alcohol addicted children.
Literature published by the Phoenix Center, the parent organization of the Phoenix Academy reports that almost one in five, or more than 17 percent of all teenage boys in the county are addicted to drugs or alcohol.
During Fiscal Year 2008, 423 youth were treated by the adolescent Outpatient Treatment Program at the Phoenix Center. That represented a 43 percent increase over the previous year.
The Academy is designed to serve the same number of boys and girls. The Academy already has a long waiting list of boys for the program and will begin serving only boys.