Ground broken for new Broughton Hospital | News
MORGANTON, NC (WBTV) – With the sound of heavy equipment already at work in the background, officials gathered for a ceremonial groundbreaking for a new Broughton State Mental Hospital in Morganton on Wednesday. Governor Bev Perdue led the group and declared that the new hospital will be a milestone in mental health care in North Carolina."It is something that is needed by a lot of people," she said.
The new Hospital will have 477,000 square feet or nearly 11 acres of floor space. It will replace the old hospital which is broken up into separate wards across the Broughton Hospital property. Some of those buildings were constructed in the 1800's and are still in use. "They're inefficient and cost a lot of money to operate," said Health and Human Services Secretary Al Delia. The 130 million dollar facility that is being built will be state of the art he said.
Though the official groundbreaking was Wednesday, work began on the project last year when several of the older buildings on site were torn down and the land graded in preparation for the new construction. A job fair was held at the hospital several weeks ago where contractors had a chance to accept applications from local tradesmen. Morganton mayor Mel Cohen said it was his understanding that several hundred local people will wind up working on the project in some fashion. "It's good for our economy," said Cohen.
Construction will take 30 months before the building will be ready for operations. What will happen to the vacated buildings has not been decided. State officials say they are considering several options. A few of the buildings are listed on historic registries.
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