Ground was broken Friday for the new Eastern State Hospital facility at the University of Kentucky's Coldstream Research Campus, with construction due to begin in November.
The 239-bed, approximately 300,000-square-foot hospital will include three "personal care homes," each with 16 beds, which will offer a less restrictive level of care.
The facility will cost $129 million and involves an agreement between Eastern State Hospital, UK and the Bluegrass Community and Technical College System. When the current Eastern State hospital facility near downtown is vacated, the land will be used for a new campus for BCTCS that will be part of an "education triangle" being touted by Mayor Jim Newberry.
Site preparation and excavation has already begun on the site.
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Eastern State Hospital serves an average of 2,000 patients a year from 80 Kentucky counties, including Boyle, Madison, Franklin, Kenton and Fayette. The hospital is expected to be complete by fall, 2012.