A new maximum security mental hospital at Fulton could be ready to receive patients in 2018, the state Mental Health Commission was told today.
A presentation outlined a general design for the new facilities that would replace some structures, including the Biggs Maximum Security Forensic Center, and would be coupled with some existing structures that will be repurposed.
The general plan, which would be carried out in phases, would eventually see the Biggs facility demolished and replaced with a 300-bed, high security forensic psychiatric hospital. The Guhleman and Hearnes structures on the hospital campus would serve different missions.
Governor Jay Nixon and the state legislature approved a 25-year bond plan to pay for the new hospital, which is projected to cost $211-million.
Behavioral Health Division Director Mark Stringer says work continues with designers and soon a procurement process will begin, to hire contractors. In the spring demolition of some structures will begin as well as construction of an energy control center and power plant to support the whole campus, and a new warehouse and dietary production facility.
“You may remember,” says director of psychiatric facilities Bob Reitz about the current dietary facility, “they are a 1937 construction and they’re not in very good shape, and one of our goals is to try and get out of that kind of an operation as quickly as possible.”
Video: Bob Reitz outlines the goals of the Fulton State Mental Hospital plan