An upscale residential treatment center that focuses on addressing trauma as the root cause of addiction has opened in Tucson, Ariz. Fifteen miles northeast of downtown, Sabino Recovery rests in the Sonoran Desert on 100 acres that border national forests on two sides along Sabino Creek and Sabino Canyon.
Designed in a traditional Southwest territorial design, the campus was built in 1930 and once housed a boarding school for boys. Most recently, it had been a nonprofit preparatory school.
“It had great bones, so to speak,” says Jack O’Donnell, former Sierra Tucson CEO and now co-founder and CEO of Sabino, referring to the buildings’ exterior. “It was really just the inside that we had to deal with.”
After getting the go-ahead from the county last February, the project moved forward in earnest in March. Buildings were designed and submitted for approval one at a time to speed up the process. The biggest challenge during the renovation, O’Donnell says, was the construction work and bringing the space up to code.