Governor Ralph Northam has announced his plans to rebuild the Central State Hospital in Petersburg as part of a budget amendment.
When the governor proposed his budget earlier this month, it included 16 million dollars for seven years of planning and preparation to replace the hospital, but leaders in the General Assembly voted to ask for more money to start rebuilding now.
Northam met with staff members at the hospital Monday to announce the rebuilding plan, which includes adding 252 more beds, set to be complete within five years.
“There will be 111 maximum security – we call them forensic beds and 141 acute for non-violent. We refer to them as civil beds,“ said Northam.
The Central State Hospital was built in 1967 and it includes about two dozen original buildings, although several are abandoned and unusable. Other lack updated features like central heating and cooling.
State leaders say the hospital is outdated and overcrowded, and they’re concerned about efficiency and safety.
“They wanted the plan changed and they wanted it accelerated,“ said Daniel Carey, Secretary of Health and Human Resources for the Commonwealth.
It will take about 315 million dollars to rebuild the hospital, and the governor plans to use bonds to pay for it.
The Legislature returns for session on April 3rd. On that day, Northam says he will propose the budget amendment authorizing construction of the new facility.