Texas Health and Human Services and Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin broke ground earlier this month on the construction of a new hospital to replace Austin State Hospital, the oldest psychiatric hospital in Texas.

The Texas Legislature and the Governor approved $180.5 million in funding for the design and initial construction of a modern, state-of-the-art psychiatric hospital to replace the outdated buildings at Austin State Hospital. HHSC is partnering with Dell Medical School to construct the new 240-bed hospital. The redesign of Austin State Hospital is part of $745 million Texas has invested to revitalize several state psychiatric hospitals.

The three-story, 380,000-square-foot building is scheduled to open June 2023, pending legislative approval of remaining funding needs. The total cost budgeted for the project is approximately $305 million. The project will replace many buildings at ASH with a standalone hospital located on the existing 80-acre campus. The new ASH building eliminates the challenges older buildings pose for delivering modern health care.

Main design features include single-person rooms, the use of natural light throughout patient rooms and common areas, and outdoor spaces to promote recovery and healing. The Old Main Building, a Texas Historic Landmark, will remain intact as well as other buildings of historical significance.