JPS Health Network held a groundbreaking for a new Psychiatric Emergency Center on Oct. 26, one of eight new buildings that will be constructed at the hospital's main campus in Fort Worth.

The Tarrant County Commissioners Court approved the bid process in August and JT Vaughn Construction, from Irving, won the bid for the $80 million project.

The project is being funded as part of the $800 million bond program for the Tarrant County Hospital District that was approved by voters in 2018. JPS Health Network plans to invest another $400 million from its operations for a combined $1.2 billion modernization and expansion plan.

The new building that will temporarily house the Psychiatric Emergency Center will be located next to Trinity Springs Pavilion, located at 1600 May St. The new facility is scheduled to be completed by 2025 and will raise capacity from 30 beds to 90 beds.

“This will be a very critical tool that we are improving on in that toolbox of how we work with people with mental health issues,” Tarrant County judge B. Glen Whitley said in a press release.

According to JPS, the current facility is the second-busiest psychiatric hospital in the nation, providing treatment for adults and teens with psychiatric illness—averaging 20,000 patients a year.

The center is being built to add more space and address a “critical short-term need,” according to hospital officials. The center will later be incorporated into a new Behavioral Health Inpatient Hospital that will be built during phase four. The center's new building will then be repurposed.

The master plan calls for four phases of improvements at the main hospital campus at 1500 S. Main St. in Fort Worth. There will also be four medical homes, or clinics, funded through the planned expansion.

“When we sent this bond package out we emphasized our top priority is on mental health,” Whitley said during a commissioners meeting on Oct. 18. “I would like to see us acquire land, work with commissioners in various precincts, and at least acquire the land before long. That doesn’t necessarily increase the operation (costs), just simply this is where we will put this.”

The hospital district receives nearly 40% of its operating revenues from property taxes collected throughout Tarrant County, according to its fiscal year 2022-23 budget.

JPS receives the remaining portion of its budget from medicare/medicaid, which amounts to 40%, and federal performance-based reimbursements, which makes up 20%, according to county documents.