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Porterville Developmental Center's History
Porterville Developmental Center is located on 600 acres in the foothills of the majestic Sierra Nevada Mountains in Porterville, California, an agricultural city in Tulare County. In 1945, the State purchased 1,245 acres of land for $62,850 for the future Porterville State Hospital. The site was originally planned for the care and treatment of individuals with epilepsy, but was redesigned as a treatment center for the mentally retarded. Construction began in 1950 and on May 12, 1953, then Governor Earl Warren dedicated the Porterville State Hospital. PDC admitted its first 200 consumers on June 3, 1953. The total population reached its peak in 1957 with over 2,600 consumers.
In 1985, the facility was renamed Porterville Developmental Center by the Department of Developmental Services to better reflect the purpose of the facility to care for individuals with developmental disabilities. The Secure Treatment Program was developed in 1997, upon the closure of Camarillo State Hospital and Developmental Center. At that time, 200 consumers were transferred to PDC's Secure Treatment Program. (Population Trends)
PDC employs approximately 1,300 staff. The sprawling campus is like a city unto itself. In addition to home residences and training/work sites, the campus includes an auditorium, two gymnasiums and swimming pool complexes, athletic field, religious center, education complex, professional library, two cafes, crafts store, fashion center, police station, fire station, hospital, maintenance shops, and has its own water supply and power plant.
In November, 2006, construction began for a 96-bed residential expansion in the Secure Treatment Program. The expansion included six 16-bed living residences, a recreation complex and a new reception building. Construction was completed in October, 2009.
Public Information and Tour Arrangements:
Contact Evonne Gibson, Assistant to the Executive Director, at (559) 782-2286.