Rusk State Hospital to break ground  on new complex

RUSK – A groundbreaking ceremony for a new patient units at Rusk State Hospital is slated for 1 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 12, at 805 N. Dickson Dr. (U.S. Highway 69) in Rusk.

The ceremony – to be held at Building 501 – will include Dr. Courtney N. Phillips, HHS executive commissioner, Rusk Mayor Angela Raiborn, State Rep. Travis Clardy and Sen. Robert Nichols.

“With nearly $200 million in approved funding from the Texas Legislature and the Governor, HHS will build a new patient complex and administrative building, enhancing the state-of-the-art care HHS team members provide while eliminating the challenges older buildings pose for modern health care. Construction is expected to be completed in 2024,” according to a release from Texas Health and Human Services.

Established in 1919, Rusk State Hospital offers inpatient adult psychiatric services to people in 36 counties throughout East Texas.

During an Oct. 17 presentation to the Rusk City Council, HHS representatives provided an overview of the project, which calls for the demolition of Building 501 and construction of a new administration building, at a total projected budget cost of $7.2 million.

It will provide space for executive leadership and offices for business, human resources, reimbursement, quality management and information technology.

A 200-bed patient unit will replace six existing buildings; the new building will house 100 maximum security unit beds and 100 non-maximum security unity beds, at a total projected budget of $188 million.

Team members assured the council and those present at last month's meeting that HHS is working closely with the Texas Historical Commission, archiving artifacts and creating detailed reports on pre- and post-demolition archeological findings.

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