LANCASTER — City of Lancaster and North Los Angeles County Regional Center officials on Tuesday, announced construction of the nonprofit organization’s new facility on the site of the former Lancaster Community Hospital.
North L.A. County Regional Center works under contract with the California Department of Developmental Mental services to provide community-based services to persons of all ages who have intellectual and developmental disabilities. The organization has been serving the Antelope Valley, San Fernando and Santa Clarita areas for more than 35 years and currently serves more than 18,000 individuals and families, including 6,500 in the Antelope Valley. Most of the services provided are free regardless of age or income.
The organization will move from its existing 20,000 square-foot facility in the Lancaster Business Park, to a 40,000 square-foot building on 10th Street West
near Avenue J-8.
“This building will provide a place where individuals that we serve can come and see a friendly place, or meet with their service coordinator, or meet with a person who comes in every day solely for the purpose of helping others,” Ruth Jenka, executive director of the North L.A. County Regional Center, said.
Elena Burnett, president of the North L.A. County Regional Center’s Board of Directors, said they are thrilled to have a new building specially built to serve their needs.
“The new building will allow North LA County Regional Center to better serve the community and provide the services we need, as well as provide the working space for all of service coordinators,” she said.
The building, currently under construction, is an infill development, which will help eliminate blight along one of the major thoroughfares of the city. Lancaster Community Hospital closed when Palmdale Regional Medical Center opened in 2010.
“Re-purposing a blighted property within the city’s core supports our vision for the future of Lancaster,” Mayor R. Rex Parris said in a statement. “The crucial services provided by the North Los Angeles County Regional Center enrich our community as a whole and we are very pleased to see these services expand within the city.”
Frank Visco, principal owner of developer Fraber Properties, the developer for this project, is working extensively to revitalize the property.
“The City is really behind this whole project as well, as they are with many, many projects and things that the City wants to bring up to the Antelope Valley, wants to create more commerce, wants to have a community that will prosper,” Visco said.
The new facility is expected to open next year. North LA County Regional Center’s current building, at 43210 Gingham Avenue, Suite 6, will remain open until then.
Electric bus manufacturer BYD Bus & Coach provided transportation from the organization’s Lancaster office to the construction site so staff could
attend the event.