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Haddonfield Neighbors Voice Concern About Substance Abuse Recovery Center Proposal

By David Spunt

HADDONFIELD, N.J., (CBS) -- A proposal to build a substance abuse recovery treatment center on the site of the Bancroft School in Haddonfield is drawing sharp criticism from some residents.

"I was kind of surprised. Haddonfield has been proud to have Bancroft here all these years," neighbor Melissa Adams told Eyewitness News.

Adams recently learned Bancroft officials are moving the school to Mount Laurel in 2017. A source familiar with the situation told Eyewitness News there is a formal agreement in place to sell the school property to Recovery Centers of America.

RCA is based in King of Prussia and plans to use the site in Haddonfield beginning in 2017.

"I think it's a little dangerous for the neighborhood," Adams said.

About 100 neighbors came to a Haddonfield Commission meeting Tuesday evening. Many voiced concern about the proposal.

The Bancroft School opened its doors in Haddonfield in 1883. Currently, Bancroft sits next to a high school. Moving a treatment center next to a high school worries resident Bob Webb.

"It's located next to a high school and you're talking about some patients that could have severe problems," Webb said.

Other Haddonfield residents told Eyewitness News they want to learn more before making a final decision.

"I'd like to hear all sides," Tom Angstadt said.

Developers of the RCA site have not submitted an official proposal to Haddonfield officials, who would need to permit a rezoning of the property.

"We have to give it a fair shake. They have to come in and make their presentation," Commissioner Neal Rochford told Eyewitness News.

Eyewitness News reached out to representatives with RCA, but did not hear back as of Tuesday evening. Commissioner Rochford says the developer of the RCA site will hold open meetings in the coming weeks.

For more on RCA, click here.

For more on The Bancroft School, click here.


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