News Release

Texas Health and Human Services Commission

Phil Wilson
HHS Executive Commissioner
Date:July 28, 2020
Contact:
Ty Bishop, 512-424-6951

HHSC Kicks Off Construction of New Maximum-Security Unit at Kerrville State Hospital

New unit to create hundreds of new jobs

AUSTIN – The Texas Health and Human Services Commission announced today construction is underway on a $30.5 million project at Kerrville State Hospital to create a 70-bed maximum-security unit.

“This project is an investment in the community and in the patients we serve,” said Tim Bray, Texas HHS Associate Commissioner for State Hospitals. “This state-of-the-art unit will support us as we continue providing the very best inpatient psychiatric care to people with mental illness.”

Construction crews are transforming two vacant buildings on campus into a maximum-security forensic unit. The new unit will add 70 beds to the hospital’s existing 220-bed capacity.

This project is part of the $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.

“I am proud to have supported efforts to provide a much-needed expansion to the Kerrville State Hospital,” said State Sen. Dawn Buckingham. “This project is important for the community and will benefit many citizens in Kerrville and surrounding areas.”

The new unit is expected to be completed by September 2021. When finished, Kerrville State Hospital will become the third state hospital in Texas to offer maximum-security beds. North Texas State Hospital-Vernon and Rusk State Hospital are also psychiatric care facilities that serve patients in a maximum-security setting.

Health officials anticipate 260 new jobs will be created at Kerrville State Hospital after construction is complete and the new unit opens. New jobs will include direct care staff such as psychiatric nursing assistants, nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and support service positions for the kitchen, laundry, maintenance, and security areas.

“It is exciting to think about this expansion of the Kerrville State Hospital,” said Kerrville Mayor Bill Blackburn. “In addition to the good jobs that will be welcomed by the people of Kerrville, I think of the good care the patients here will find at the hospital. My father spent the last four years of his life at the Kerrville State Hospital, and he was well cared for.”

At this time, to protect the health and safety of patients and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic, non-essential visitors are not allowed on campus. We are providing links to the published video, downloadable b-roll and pictures of the initial phase of construction, as well as video sound bites from Mike Maples, HHSC Deputy Executive Commissioner of the Health and Specialty Care System.

For more information about state hospital construction projects throughout the state, visit the Changes to the State Hospital System page on the HHS website.

About Kerrville State Hospital

Kerrville State Hospital, which is about 50 miles Northwest of San Antonio, provides inpatient psychiatric services for patients on a forensic commitment, which includes people who have been ruled incompetent to stand trial or found not guilty by reason of insanity. The hospital serves approximately 250 patients annually. Kerrville State Hospital is among 10 state hospitals that HHSC operates for people with mental health disorders.