Maple Lane School honors past while celebrating a bright future


Established more than century ago in 1914, the sprawling 160-acre campus of Maple Lane School in Centralia opened its first government facility as a training school for girls. Today, Maple Lane School is home to the Maple Lane Competency Restoration Program, which provides court-ordered psychiatric care to patients undergoing competency restoration and is preparing to open its doors to a wider array of forensic psychiatric care.

Students at the Maple Lane School in 1954. (Seattle Times courtesy photo)

The campus is undergoing major infrastructure updates, and in January 2023 a new long-term, civil community-based residential treatment facility will open. Construction bids are also being accepted for the renovation of a new patient treatment mall and for a new forensic mental health treatment center for patients who are found not guilty by reason of insanity (NGRI).

“We help give folks clarity about their situation so they can move forward,” said Mandi Maycumber, Maple Lane Competency Restoration Program residential services manager. “We give them a therapeutic way out into hopefully a better and happier life.”

Currently, the Maple Lane Competency Restoration Program can treat up to 30 patients at a time who have been assigned there by the courts for competency restoration after being found non-competent to participate in a trial or court proceedings. Patients typically receive orders for 29 to 90 days of treatment (depending on the type of charge), which can be extended if approved by the court. If a patient’s competency is restored, then they return to jail to continue with their court proceedings.

Maple Lane Competency Restoration Center provides compassionate and humane inpatient care to patients to effectively restore competency and return them back to the courts, Maycumber said.

“Patients who complete their treatment here have a better idea and (a) better chance of implementing alternative behaviors,” Maycumber said. “Whether they figure it out this time, next time or the third time around, they have more awareness than they did before they came here of what it looks and feels like to be stable and cared for.”

Mandi Maycumber, Maple Lane Competency Restoration Program residential services manager.

Expanding care to civilly-committed patients, the new state-of-the-art, ecofriendly Maple Lane community residential treatment facility will have 16 beds and provide community psychiatric care for patients who are committed for 90–180 days. The mission of the facility will be to create a safe and secure therapeutic treatment facility where patients will be provided individual-centered care which recognizes their humanity.

The planning for the facility was extensive and comprehensive, taking into consideration best practices for residential care, aligning or exceeding industry standards, and ensuring a safe and therapeutic environment that would alleviate patient aggression and stress due to seclusion or isolation. Aligning with these measures, the facility will have community spaces for patients, outdoor areas accessible to patients, views to nature and access to natural light. There was also an intentional effort made to reduce environmental stressors through noise reduction and limiting patient density.

“This project is one example of how we as a department are aligning with the governor’s priorities by building sustainable infrastructure, which aligns with our vision for creating a safe, comforting and healing experience for our patients,” DSHS Secretary Jilma Meneses said.

Department of Social and Health Services Secretary Jilma Meneses, left, chats with Capital Programs officials during a tour of the Maple Lane Treatment Mall Aug. 11, 2022.

The eco-friendly facility is a $20 million project with a zero-waste initiative, said Tim Byrne, Capital Projects construction project coordinator.

Once completed, the facility will be able to reach its goal of zero waste having achieved a silver Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating. It is optimized to be completely self-dependent, adding no additional energy use to Washington’s power grid and reducing its carbon impact, Byrne said. The facility will also have state-of-the-art security to ensure the safety of patients, care staff and the community.

“Safety is probably our number two priority after patient care,” Maycumber said. “I don’t know how you can prioritize one over the other because it is an integral part of everything we do.”

The next facilities to come online, the Maple Lane Treatment Mall and Columbia Cottage, are being renovated for Washington NGRI patients. The approximately $3 million project is still receiving bids but could be completed and start accepting patients by Fall 2023.

This extensive project will revitalize these facilities to provide a more modern and normative aesthetic for NGRI residents, Maycumber said.

As Maple Lane staff look to the future, there are hopes and plans for other new facilities and services being added to the campus. A commissary is one of the projects being discussed and planned.

“It’s an exciting time for Maple Lane campus,” Maycumber said. “We have so many new things coming online. I hope that we can continue to grow here.”

(Story by Jacob Jimenez)