Jessica Mathews /

Oxford Recovery Center is hosting a grand opening of its innovative Autism Center expansion this weekend.

The 35,000-square-foot, $12 (m) million expansion doubles the center’s size to accommodate its growing autism program. It includes therapy rooms, employee spaces and the innovative “Village of ORC.”

Around 150 people attended a VIP event Tuesday evening that featured tours, refreshments and various stories of success and transformation. There were few dry eyes at times during a ceremony that concluded with a ribbon-cutting in the center of the Village area.

The expansion and village build on the vision and direction of ORC Founder and CEO, Dr. Tami Peterson whose personal struggle to find care for her daughter 16 years ago led her on a search for treatment.

Oxford Recovery Center combines ABA therapies with Oxford-pioneered Wholistic Treatment Therapy. The treatments are said to have given new hope to families, often producing positive outcomes above all expectations. ORC’s treatment success has driven steady increases in patient volume and the expansion will help address that growing need.

The Village of ORC is an actual village with a roadway, crosswalks, curbs, streetlights, a park, and 12 functioning retail stores including a grocery store, coffee shop, pet store, toy store, along with an ATM, dentist office, and hair salon. It is the only facility of its kind in the U.S., which officials say makes it the best location in the country for Natural Environment Teaching.

The retail shops and stores are open to the public for business, adding to its realism and usefulness as a therapy tool. Profits derived from the Village will go to the Oxford Kids Foundation.

Peterson said “We combine established treatments with innovative therapies tailored to meet the needs of each individual patient and that approach is as innovative as it’s been effective. The Village takes treatment to a whole new level and we’re really excited about it. I’m not aware of anything like it anywhere else.”

While the Village is described as the centerpiece, ORC’s expansion also provides a significant upgrade for the entire center. It includes a state-of-the-art commercial kitchen for the classically trained chef to create specialized lunches and also allow their COMPASS™ participants another place to hone skills.

There are multiple types of treatment rooms to facilitate individual therapies as well as opportunities to graduate into a more school-like setting for learning, along with other miscellaneous therapeutic treatment areas such as a water room and an art and music room.

Oxford Recovery Center’s Public Grand Opening is this Saturday from 11am to 3pm. The event is free and open to the public. It will feature activities for children of all ages, free classes on health and nutrition, as well as tours of the facility.

More information is available in the link and attached release.