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Hillside decides to discontinue services at facility in Seneca County

Hillside Family of Agencies has announced that it will not renew a lease on its facility in Varick in Seneca County at the site of the former Seneca Army Depot.

The nonprofit human services organization says it won’t renew a 15-year lease for its residential treatment facility when that lease expires in March 2020. Hillside assumed the lease in 2004, at the request of the state, after a previous provider stopped operations at the site.

The campus currently serves 79 youths from across the state and employs 235 staff members. Hillside says there is a transition plan to relocate some of the Varick-based services to other Hillside campuses over the next several months.

About 60 of the staffers will move with those programs to other Hillside campuses. The organization says that other employees will be helped in pursuing other positions within the agency or with other employers in the region.

In a statement on its website, Hillside said there were several considerations in deciding not to continue the lease at the Varick location, including national and statewide trends concerning the demand for residential treatment services, challenges concerning recruitment and retention of direct-care staff, and necessary but cost-prohibitive improvements that would be required to the campus buildings.

Hillside says that Varick is the only campus operated by the organization under a long-term lease. The other New York residential campuses in Rochester, Chili, Auburn, Bath , and Greene are all owned by the agency.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.