Construction underway on new facilities at Rusk State Hospital

Construction underway on new facilities at Rusk State Hospital
Construction at Rusk State Hospital (Source: Texas Health and Human Services Commission)

RUSK, Texas (KLTV) - The Texas Health and Human Services Commission said construction crews are busy at work on a nearly $200 million project to build a modern 227,000 square-foot patient complex and replace the administration building at Rusk State Hospital.

Crews recently placed the last beam atop the administration building and are on track to complete 50 percent of the building by February 2021. The construction team has also completed demolition work at the site of the new patient complex and have begun laying plumbing and installing electrical infrastructure.

“The new hospital isn’t just about having a state-of-the-art building. It’s about creating a therapeutic setting that will foster healing and recovery for the patients entrusted in our care,” said Tim Bray, HHSC associate commissioner for state hospitals. “Rebuilding these units is part of our continued mission to be a leader in modern-day mental health care for Texans.”

The patient complex will include a 100-bed maximum-security unit and a 100-bed non-maximum-security unit. This project will also include the construction of a new administration building.

“I’m proud to support Rusk State Hospital and thank them for all the important work that they do,” said State Sen. Robert Nichols. “Their enduring commitment to caring for those in need is vital to the health and well-being of East Texas residents. The state’s investment in state hospitals shows our dedication to ensuring Texas is a leader in mental health care.”

This project is part of a $745 million investment from the Texas Legislature and Gov. Greg Abbott for the construction and renovation of state psychiatric hospitals in Austin, Kerrville, Rusk and San Antonio, as well as a new hospital in Houston. Combined, the construction projects at the hospitals will add at least 350 new inpatient psychiatric beds in Texas within the next four years.

“The construction project reaffirms our state’s commitment to provide quality care for those who need it most,” said State Rep. Travis Clardy. “While the Rusk State Hospital has served our community for over a century, this much-needed investment will not only serve to enhance the facilities with state-of-the-art-innovation, but more importantly provides the Rusk State Hospital with the resources necessary to increase access to high-quality health care for generations to come.”

The three-story, 227,368 square-foot patient complex features single-person rooms, the use of natural light throughout patient rooms and common areas, and outdoor spaces to promote recovery and healing. The first floor will have social interaction spaces such as a movie theater, salon, café, library, gym and a music therapy room. The second and third floors will hold the patient units, an exercise room, group therapy rooms and classrooms. Outside, there will be secure courtyards and walking trails, as well as basketball and volleyball courts. The new two-story administration building is 18,900 square feet and will accommodate the administration department and IT staff.

The patient building is expected to open in February 2023, and the administration building is scheduled to open in November 2021.

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