FULTON, Mo. (AP) - Lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle agree that Missouri's state hospital for the most severely ill and dangerous mental health patients is in dire need of repair, but it remains unclear just how to come up with the more than $200 million needed to replace the crumbling Fulton State Hospital.
The facility is Missouri's only maximum security psychiatric hospital. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that some of the buildings on the 95-acre site are completely abandoned. Others are in such bad shape they raise safety concerns for patients and staff.
Republican state Sen. David Pearce of Warrensburg heads an interim Senate committee reviewing state building repair needs. He says many of the state's more than 6,000 buildings need fixing, but dollars are scarce.
The hospital is Missouri's only maximum and intermediate security psychiatric hospital and is the oldest public mental health facility west of the Mississippi River.
The Department of Mental Health is proposing a new 300 bed, high-security facility that would cost about $211 million.
Officials say current facilities are antiquated and a new building would save utility cots and make for a safer facility.
Fulton State Hospital is in Fulton, Missouri, about 100 miles west of St. Louis.