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Vacant Willard Psych campus could be home to resort, conference center, housing, and more

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  • Staff Report 

The vacant Willard Psychiatric Center campus is being eyed for a multi-faceted redevelopment that could bring a resort, conference center, housing, and nature trails to its 630-acre property on Seneca Lake.


Revealed at a public session on Oct. 2, the Seneca County Industrial Development Agency and MRB Group of Rochester proposed dividing the campus into seven distinct zones, each harboring a specific use.

Among the suggestions include waterfront resort facilities, adventure rope courses, bed-and-breakfast establishments, single-family homes, and an educational campus featuring dormitories and assisted-living facilities.

The redevelopment plan comes as part of an ongoing “highest and best use study” spearheaded by MRB Group, Bero Architecture, EDR, and HRP Associates.

Attendees at the session were encouraged to share feedback on the draft, with the insights set to help shape the final development concept. Sarah Davis, IDA Executive Director, emphasized the study’s aim of understanding the feasibility of various uses and plotting a strategic redevelopment path. The Willard campus, operational since 1869, closed in 1999 and served as a state drug and alcohol treatment center until March 2022.