News Release

Texas Health and Human Services Commission

Cecile Erwin Young
HHS Executive Commissioner
Date:September 2, 2020
Contact:
Ty Bishop, 512-424-6951

HHSC Kicks Off Construction of New San Antonio State Hospital

AUSTIN – The Texas Health and Human Services Commission announced today construction is underway for a new 300-bed hospital to replace the current facility at San Antonio State Hospital.

“This new world-class facility will be a step toward modernizing the psychiatric hospital system in Texas,” said Tim Bray, Texas HHS associate commissioner for State Hospitals. “The state-of-the-art design of the new hospital will match the modern care that’s provided to the people who depend on our services at SASH.”

The Texas Legislature and Gov. Greg Abbott approved $205 million in funding for the design and initial construction of the hospital to replace the outdated buildings at San Antonio State Hospital. HHSC is partnering with UT Health San Antonio to construct the new hospital.

The design of the replacement hospital incorporates a layout that ensures a patient-first model, with private rooms for all patients and a floor plan that includes more open areas and natural light throughout the building. The design of the hospital also includes a special vantage point with improved sightlines for nursing staff to monitor multiple hallways from one spot.

“We see this as a major improvement in care for patients with mental and behavioral health issues in all of South Texas,” said Dr. Steven Pliszka of UT Health San Antonio, who led the stakeholders’ executive committee for the redesign of the San Antonio State Hospital. “The new hospital will promote a state-of-the-art therapeutic environment for patients with mental illness that will enhance recovery. The hospital is the centerpiece of a master plan that will improve collaboration among regional partners.”

The construction is part of the $745 million Texas has invested to revitalize and transform state psychiatric hospitals in Austin, Kerrville, Rusk and San Antonio, as well as a new hospital in Houston.

"Securing the funding to begin construction on the San Antonio State Hospital was a top priority for Senate District 19 during the 86th Legislative Session,” said State Sen. Pete Flores. “I am happy that I was able to help secure this funding by serving on the budget-writing Senate Finance Committee. SASH serves a vital function to San Antonio and millions of Texans in southwest Texas. I'm very excited about the construction."

The three-story, 476,000 square-foot building is expected to open in January 2024, pending legislative approval of additional funding. The total cost budgeted for the new hospital is approximately $357 million.

"The construction of the new San Antonio State Hospital in Bexar County is a once in a lifetime opportunity, not only to design a state of the art hospital, but to also thoughtfully develop a master plan of mental health services on the SASH campus,” said State Rep. Roland Gutierrez. “We will be back in Austin in January to secure the remaining funds to complete the project."

Construction crews are also renovating an existing, vacant building on campus that is expected to be completed in January 2021. The $11.5 million project will add 40 beds to the hospital and more than 100 new jobs will be created to support the recommissioned building. Those jobs include psychiatric nursing assistants, nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and support service positions for the kitchen, laundry, maintenance, and security areas.

Visuals

New video and images are available for this initiative, including produced video of the project, downloadable b-roll and pictures of the ongoing construction (ZIP), and video sound bites from Tim Bray, Texas HHS associate commissioner for State Hospitals.

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.

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 San Antonio State Hospital

San Antonio State Hospital provides adult inpatient psychiatric services to individuals on civil commitments as well as competency restoration services for individuals on forensic commitments who have been determined incompetent to stand trial or found not guilty by reason of insanity. The hospital serves approximately 600 patients annually. San Antonio State Hospital is among 10 state hospitals that HHSC operates for people with mental health disorders.