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Gov. Nixon Breaks Ground on New Mental Hospital

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Paxton DiBlasi
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  Local and state officials picked up shovels to do their part digging a new psychiatric hospital. Governor Jay Nixon spoke today at the ceremonial ground breaking of the new Fulton State Psychiatric Hospital campus.

“Patient wards are dingy cramped and noisy. Treatment areas lack privacy,” Governor Nixon said. “Some areas have leaky roofs, bad plumbing, faulty heating and cooling systems, and outdated wiring.”

The 211 million dollar project is slated to finish in December 2017. Officials say this project will generate 2,500 jobs in Callaway County.

The new facility will be more efficient. Nixon says this will mean better care for patients and a safer environment for staff.

Scott Hansche, an architect on the project, said the new facility will be a more open space. The first phase of the project is building the new plant to power the facility.

Keith Schafer, Director of the Department of Mental Health, says when the current facility, built in 1851, isn’t in line with modern treatment standards.

“It’s a terrible thing to have concrete walls, concrete ceilings that are seven feet high and concrete floors for persons who are experiencing really serious mental illness. It’s just the wrong thing to have,” Schafer said.

Patients and staff are projected to be able to move into the new facility in spring 2018.