News Release

Texas Health and Human Services Commission

Cecile Erwin Young
HHS Executive Commissioner
Date:November 12, 2020
Contact:
Ty Bishop, 512-424-6951

HHSC Showcases Construction Progress at Rusk State Hospital

AUSTIN – 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, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission announced today.

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

Visuals

New video and images are available, including produced video of the project, downloadable B-roll and pictures of the ongoing construction, and video sound bites from Terina McIntyre, HHSC director of State Hospital Operations.

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.

About Rusk State Hospital

Rusk State Hospital provides competency restoration services for individuals on forensic commitments who have been determined incompetent to stand trial or found not guilty by reason of insanity, as well as inpatient psychiatric services to individuals with mental illness who are at risk of harming themselves or others and may require longer-term inpatient treatment. The hospital serves approximately 580 patients each year. Rusk is among 10 state hospitals that HHSC operates for people with mental illness.