SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Inmates will be transferred to the new home of the Western Massachusetts Correctional Addiction Center later this month, and the facility is getting a new name along with the new address. Hampden County Sheriff Michael Ashe announced Friday that staff members are now working at the building, located at 155 Mill Street in Springfield.
The Western Massachusetts Correctional Addiction Center has been operating out of Holyoke since it was forced from its former home on Howard Street in Springfield by construction on the MGM Springfield casino. The choice of the Mill Street site- which formerly housed a nursing home- was not without controversy, however. Some nearby residents had expressed concern about having the minimum-security facility in their neighborhood. Ashe’s office says that staff members have been meeting with a neighborhood committee to provide input on how the center was developed and is operating.
“We are honored to be located in the Maple High Six Corners neighborhood, and we look forward to a close working relationship with the residents. We plan on being a respectful good neighbor,” Ashe said.
Springfield resident Elizabeth Hamilton was optimistic about having the facility in town.
“I feel pretty good about it, it doesn’t bother me, I think it’s good for the neighborhood. We need them, we really do. We need a lot of rehab centers,” Hamilton said.
Staff members are now being acclimated to the new facility, and are undergoing training there.
The facility will now be referred to as the Western Massachusetts Recovery and Wellness Center. Ashe says that the name change is designed to reflect the treatment program that residents receive there.