HURRICANE – The Diamond Ranch Academy private residential treatment facility and school for teens has expanded to a new campus that will allow them to further serve troubled teens.
For the first years of its existence, the Academy was located in a remote ranch area near Apple Valley. Plans for a new campus, five miles outside of Hurricane in the Elim Valley area, were approved by City of Hurricane in November 2011 and last month, the first phase became fully operational.
Aside from a more convenient location, the facility adds a full artificial turf football field with a track, an indoor basketball gym and an outdoor sports court.
The community has already begun taking advantage of the enhancements; Diamond Ranch held their first home basketball game against Hurricane High School Tuesday and last Saturday, hosted youth football league playoffs.
Construction on the second phase, which includes an artificial turf baseball field, tennis courts, a splash pad, an equestrian arena and additional living facilities, is currently underway and expected to be complete within six months. The total cost of the complex is $10 million.
“(This) new project has brought a lot of excitement (and) hope to the area,” Admissions Director Dan Borchardt said. “The jobs we provide in the community and the taxes we pay set a high standard. We look forward to continuing serving Southern Utah.”
Diamond Ranch Academy was founded in 1999 and has garnered wide acclaim for its services since, including being endorsed by renowned psychotherapist and author Dr. Taylor Hartman and featured on U.S. cable network The CW’s “Dr. Drew’s Life Changers.”
Juveniles ages 12 to 18 come to the school from across the nation and even the world to seek assistance with substance abuse, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, peer pressure, anger management, self-esteem issues, grief and loss management, struggles with academics, communication and family relationships and many other emotional and behavioral issues.
The school’s comprehensive therapy includes individual, family and group counseling sessions with licensed mental health professionals, a 12-step substance abuse support program and equine therapy. The Real Life Transition Program involves students in jobs, community service projects and a peer-participant judicial system.
Residents live full-time in one of four housing facilities, and are divided according to age and gender. To manage the 180-strong student body, the Academy employs a staff of 160 Southern Utah residents.
Diamond Ranch is also a fully accredited 1A private high school with curriculum that aligns with Utah state standards. In addition to regular academics, students can participate in career and life skills classes, a music program, field trips and yearlong clubs including 4-H, fine arts, hiking, debate, pottery and media. The comprehensive athletics program is comprised of football, basketball, cheer, dance, volleyball, wrestling, track and field, baseball, softball and golf teams that compete against other 1A schools throughout the state.
“Character building is a major component of Diamond Ranch Academy,” Borchardt said. “Students learn respect for themselves and other throughout all components of the school.”
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