Officials seek upgrades at mental health facility

Feb 11, 2013

Missouri mental health officials are hoping a possible state bonding package could permit construction of a new facility at the Fulton State Hospital.

The hospital is Missouri's only maximum- and intermediate-security psychiatric hospital and is the oldest public mental health facility west of the Mississippi River. The Department of Mental Health is proposing a new 300-bed, high-security facility that would cost about $211 million.

Officials say current facilities are antiquated and a new building could save $3 million in utilities, staffing and workers' compensation. They say it would improve the treatment environment and make for a safer facility. It also would free beds for treatment of sexually violent predators.

Governor Jay Nixon and lawmakers are considering bonds to pay for capital improvements at college campuses, state facilities and parks.