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Stone Hawk rehabilitation ready to open • Friday January 17, 2003

Battle Creek Enquirer, Jan. 16, 2003
By Chris Springsteen, The Enquirer

A drug and alcohol rehabilitation center is set to open at the end of January in Pennfield Township.

All of the remodeling at the Narconon Stone Hawk Rehabilitation Center, 216 St. Mary’s Lake Road, has been completed and the center’s first 20 patients should begin their stay Jan. 31, said Kate Wickstrom, executive director of the rehabilitation clinic.

“All of the contractors are done now,” Wickstrom said. “There’s furniture in the rooms, we’re getting the kitchens ready, ordering the food — we’re ready to rock and roll.”

Despite early problems getting a land-use zoning variance for the former Neuro-Rehabilitation Center and a few unexpected construction delays, seeing the finished product is worth all of the time and money Wickstrom and her husband, Per, put into it, she said. The renovation cost about $500,000.

“Things are moving quickly around here,” Wickstrom said. “You spend so long looking at the same thing and you begin to wonder if it’s ever going to come together. What we have to offer is a valuable product. Even though we’ve had some hard times with cost and other things, we’ve been able to keep focused on that.”

Nearly every inch of the 58,000-square-foot building has been renovated in one way or another, including the dorm areas for patients, the dining room and an activities room. The basement is being completely updated to house saunas and showers. Most of the tile work in the building was done by Battle Creek-based B&M Tile.

The Stone Hawk center will follow a strict regiment of classes, eating habits and the use of saunas as laid out by author L. Ron Hubbard in his book “Clear Body, Clear Mind.” It will be one of about a dozen Narconon centers in the United States.

Once the center is running at its peak, Wickstrom said she expects to be able to have about 100 patients in the facility at a time.

The Wickstroms also expect to have a grand opening celebration June 7.

“Everything is coming together and it’s a great feeling,” Wickstrom said. “If we only get one person through here, then that’s one life we’ve saved.”

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