PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Peoria County is selling a defunct nursing home to UnityPoint Health-Methodist, with plans to turn the facility into a behavioral health center for children and adolescents, the county’s administrator said Wednesday.

Peoria County Administrator Scott Sorrel said the county was losing $2 million to $3 million per year, so they decided to close the Heddington Oaks facility and exit the nursing home industry itself, in April 2020.

The county still owes $20 million dollars in bond payments for the facility; they will try to recoup as much as possible to minimize costs to taxpayers, Sorrel said.

Sorrel said UnityPoint plans to use the facility as a behavioral health center for children and adolescents.

“I think it is going to be a great addition to our community. I think it’s going to be transformative for the children and the adolescents in our community,” he said.

Sorrel added it’s a way for Peoria County to be involved in mental health.

“It’s critical for us to be involved in these types of efforts. We strongly believe we are a leader in the community, and this is one of the ways we are showing it,” he said.

UnityPoint released a statement on the pending sale.

“UnityPoint Health-Methodist is proud to be a leader in providing quality health care services in Central Illinois. As part of our ongoing commitment to the people we serve, we often evaluate opportunities for growth that can help advance our mission of improving the health of our communities. We hope to be able to share the details of this life-changing project on March 11, pending approval by the Peoria County Board.”