Gov. Jay Nixon announced Monday that the state has selected design firm Parsons Brinckerhoff to plan and design a new Fulton State Hospital.
The hospital opened in 1851 and is the oldest mental health facility west of the Mississippi River. Several of its buildings have been deemed unsafe for workers and patients.
"Rebuilding the crumbling and dangerous Fulton State Mental Hospital is important for all our communities, so I'm pleased to see this long-overdue public safety priority moving forward with strong and growing bipartisan support," Gov. Jay Nixon said in a press release. "With conditions at Fulton deteriorating daily, putting patients and caregivers at risk, having the lead design firm in place will ensure the planning and design process can begin without unnecessary delays."
Parsons Brinckerhoff is a global consulting firm with more than 150 offices on five continents, including offices in St. Louis.
Following planning and design, construction on the nearly $211 million project is expected to begin late spring or early summer of 2015 with completion of the new hospital in 2016.
A plan to pay for the hospital has not been agreed upon and finalized.
Nixon's 2015 budget included funds for a strategic bond issuance to pay for the facility that would require nearly $150 million from Missouri taxpayers over 25 years.
House Budget Chairman Rick Stream, R-Kirkwood, introduced an alternative plan in the form of a bill that proposes a five-year revenue bond that would require the state to make payments of nearly $44 million each year. The proposal would require Missouri taxpayers to pay nearly $30 million in interest over the five years.
Stream's bill has passed out of a House committee, but has not yet been debated and passed by the House.
Another bill that proposes bonding to raise funds for a new Fulton State Hospital has passed the Senate and has been referred to the House Budget Committee.
The bill - sponsored by Sen. Mike Parson, R-Bolivar - proposes a $600 million bonding plan for various projects, including nearly $200 million for a new Fulton State Hospital.