LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 24, 2010) —Governor Steve Beshear joined local leaders, other state officials and representatives from the University of Kentucky (UK) and the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) to break ground for the new Eastern State Hospital facility. The new hospital will be located at UK's Coldstream Research Campus in Lexington. Construction on the project is expected to be complete by fall 2012.
The 239-bed, approximately 300,000 square foot replacement facility will provide a modern setting for inpatient psychiatric treatment, along with specialized services for individuals with acquired brain injuries, individuals with psychiatric disabilities requiring nursing facility level of care and forensic mental health services.
In addition to the inpatient hospital, the new Eastern State Hospital campus will include three 11,000 square foot personal care homes, each with 16 beds that will offer a less restrictive level of care that promotes patients' return to a community setting. These personal care homes will provide residential psychiatric services and serve as a step-down from the acute care setting.
"It's exciting to officially launch the construction of this much-needed facility that will undoubtedly transform how Kentucky cares for individuals with mental health needs," said Gov. Beshear. "Today is indeed a day of celebration for all of those who have played a role in reaching this milestone, including Rep. Jimmie Lee and other strong advocates and family members who have lobbied for this project for many years."
"The $129 million facility will replace the 185-year-old Eastern State Hospital, the second oldest psychiatric hospital in the country. The project involves a unique agreement between UK, Bluegrass Community and Technical College (BCTC), the state and the city of Lexington in which Eastern State will move from its campus on Newtown Pike to the Coldstream Research Campus location; BCTC will move from UK's Lexington campus to the current Eastern State location; and UK will take over BCTC's location on Cooper Drive, also providing UK with additional parking.
"I am so pleased to be part of finally breaking ground on Eastern State Hospital," said Rep. Jimmie Lee, of Elizabethtown. "The new, state-of-the-art facility will provide inpatient care for adults with acute disorders, persistent mental illness, and inpatient care for psychiatric evaluation, rehabilitation, and many other services for patients and their families at Eastern State Hospital. Working together for many years with the the city of Lexington, the Governor, the University of Kentucky, KCTCS, and the Cabinet for Health and Family Services has made this day a long-awaited vision and dream become a reality for many, many people."
"The construction of a new Eastern State Hospital is also the construction of a new era of health care for Kentuckians who suffer from mental illnesses," Lexington Mayor Jim Newberry said. "Just as this new hospital will offer new opportunities to its patients, moving this hospital to Coldstream will offer new opportunities to our city. This remarkable configuration will result in enormous economic development opportunities for years to come."
"The incredible and relentless hard work of so many mental health advocates over the years is now reaching a goal that some believed impossible. Their names are many, and all of us celebrating this day know exactly who they are. All of us owe them a huge debt of gratitude," said Sen. Kathy W. Stein, of Lexington. "This day moves us one step further along the road to recognize that mental health is an issue to be dealt with just as we do other diseases—and that the stigma of mental illness is fading away. As a person who has dealt with chronic depression all of my adult life, I am very pleased we are able to mark this day's significance with the building of a state of the art facility to treat so many Kentuckians who need its help."
"We look forward to Eastern State Hospital joining our Coldstream Research Campus," said UK President Lee T. Todd Jr. "More than that, however, we are thrilled that this new facility will provide Eastern State's patients and their families with the type of world-class facility that they richly deserve."
The plans and specifications for the replacement of Eastern State Hospital were posted on Kentucky's Vendor Self Service System for bid Aug. 30, 2010. Bids for individual trade packages advertised will be received and reviewed by D.W. Wilburn, construction manager for the replacement project. Construction is slated to begin in November 2010. The facility will be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certified, meaning it will meet the highest green building and performance measures. Currently, the site is being excavated, including building pads for the personal care homes, parking lots A and B and bridge foundation work.
"Once complete, this state-of-the-art facility will offer us the ability to provide expanded services to better meet patient needs," said Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Janie Miller. "Examples include the addition of a neuro-behavioral unit and a geriatric-nursing unit, which will create the opportunity for individuals with acquired brain injuries and elderly patients with severe mental illness to receive needed inpatient psychiatric treatment closer to their family and natural support setting."
Eastern State Hospital serves an average of 2,000 patients per year from 80 Kentucky counties. The primary counties served include Boyle, Madison, Franklin, Kenton and Fayette, ranging from 65 to 279 patients annually.