Austin State Hospital replacement set to break ground in October after state funding approval

Reconstruction of the Austin State Hospital is scheduled to begin in the fall. The $283 million project received its first round of funding from state lawmakers in May.

Reconstruction of the Austin State Hospital is scheduled to begin in the fall. The $283 million project received its first round of funding from state lawmakers in May.

State lawmakers passed a bill in the 86th legislative session to provide $165 million over two years toward the reconstruction of the over 100-year-old Austin State Hospital.

In December, the University of Texas Dell Medical School released a report revealing a master plan for the $283 million replacement of ASH.

“After decades of deferred maintenance, the outmoded Austin State Hospital … must be replaced,” the report said.

Lawmakers have planned to dole out that funding over the course of two legislative sessions. Stephen Strakowski, associate vice president for regional mental health at Dell Medical School, told Travis County Commissioners on June 4 that the school expects to receive approximately another $120 million from the state in 2021 in addition to the first round of allocated funds. Strakowski said he anticipates the new Austin State Hospital campus opening in 2023.

After Gov. Greg Abbott signed the bill approving the first round of funding, Strakowski told commissioners schematic and architectural design work would start soon and the project could break ground in October.

The state hospital located at 4110 Guadalupe St. serves an area of 75 counties in Texas. In a media release after the funding was approved, state Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, said the reconstruction project “is about much more than a structure.”

“With this investment, we’re building upon the extraordinary work of the Dell Medical School to design a brain health system of care that provides access to the right care at the right time and in the right place,” Watson said in the release.
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