CASSIDY LAKE (GNB) – The provincial government is investing $450,000 in the construction of the Lewis Fitness Centre at the Portage Atlantic Residential Treatment Centre at Cassidy Lake.

“This investment in the Lewis Fitness Centre project will assist youth in treatment to participate in daily recreational and physical activities as a way to help improve their social, emotional and physical well-being,” said Health Minister Victor Boudreau, who is also minister responsible for the Regional Development Corporation.

Boudreau made at the announcement today at the fitness centre’s sod-turning ceremony.

The provincial government’s $450,000 financial contribution will be used toward the construction of a new $2.1-million fitness centre at Portage Atlantic that will include a gymnasium and fully equipped exercise room.

“On behalf of the Portage Atlantic family, we thank the Government of New Brunswick for its generous contribution toward the Lewis Fitness Centre project,” said Dr. Russell King of Portage Atlantic. “At the heart of this announcement and celebration today are the young men and women working to overcome drug addiction and take back control of their lives – an accomplishment that takes incredible courage and determination.”

Portage Atlantic, a non-profit organization, has been operating since 1996 in New Brunswick, providing a bilingual rehabilitation substance abuse program for youth between the ages of 14 years and 21 who require residential treatment. The program, offered at the 64-bed treatment facility, utilizes a therapeutic community approach, emphasizing self-help and the creation of a positive environment with family-like support systems.