State Hospital Land Announcement
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 15, 2017
Wolf Administration Develops Plan with Municipality of Norristown on Future of State Hospital Land
HARRISBURG, PA – After meeting with members of the Norristown community and the Norristown Municipal Council (Council) the departments of Human Services (DHS) and General Services (DGS) have developed a plan of action to determine the future of the Norristown State Hospital (NSH) property that is acceptable to the Council.
“Thank you to everyone who provided such valuable input throughout this process,” said DHS Acting Secretary Teresa Miller. “We are currently working together to find a solution that addresses the needs of those served at NSH, the dedicated employees at NSH, and the community while fulfilling our obligation to ensure that individuals in the criminal justice system who need mental health treatment have access to that treatment in the most appropriate setting.”
DHS has committed to developing a long-term plan for use of the NSH property that includes vacating two buildings in 2022 that sit on the portion of the campus that is in the Municipality of Norristown. That commitment persuaded the Council to remove its objection to construction on Building 10 to make more beds available for the forensic population, which will enable the commonwealth to address the immediate need to alleviate pressure on the waiting list for admission to forensic services at NSH.
“We appreciate the swift response to our concerns by Governor Wolf and Acting Secretary Miller,” stated Council President Sonya Sanders. “Norristown has always been a community that has done its part in housing government agencies; however, we also want to have the opportunity for impactful, collaborate engagement for redevelopment in Norristown that improves the quality of life of our residents. Many thanks to Senator Daylin Leach and Representative Matt Bradford for their support in getting this accomplished.”
The commonwealth will work toward fulfilling the following commitments in a collaborative manner:
1. Land planner study – A qualified land planner will conduct a comprehensive study of the NSH campus to determine the best use of the property. This process will include public and stakeholder meetings, a feasibility report, and a final disposition recommendation report to be completed by March 1, 2019.
2. Commitment to transparency – The commonwealth will work openly with the Municipality as short- and long-term solutions are considered and established for both the conveyance of the property and the location and operation of the forensic beds.
3. Exit plan development – DHS will work with all providers currently leasing space on NSH’s campus, and their respective counties, to develop action plans by January 2020 for relocating their programs.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Rachel Kostelac, DHS, 717-425-7606
Troy Thompson, DGS, 717-717-787-3197
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