Your Opinion: Convert St. Mary’s to mental hospital

Dear Editor:

Open letter to Missouri State government.

There are two proposals being considered: Spending $10 million to acquire and renovate the current St. Mary’s site for use by Lincoln University for classrooms and training facilities, including the expansion of the university’s nursing program and the initiation of a culinary arts degree program; and issue $198 million in bonds for a new maximum and intermediate security mental facility in Fulton through a state development board and pay them off through annual legislative appropriations.

I would like to recommend that the government consider maintaining the existing maximum security facility in Fulton and convert the old St. Mary’s site to an intermediate security mental hospital.

The current St. Mary’s facilities are already structured or both in-patient and out-patient mental care. It would cost a considerable amount of money to convert this facility to accommodate college class rooms and there are no student dormitory areas in the vicinity.

Spending less money to accomplish the necessary goal of improving mental facilities in this state should be the primary objective. The recession is far from over.

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