2017-12-28 / Front Page

Design firm hired for new $5.5 million Caro hospital

Psychiatric facility to open in 2021

LANSING - A new $5.5 million state-operated psychiatric hospital will be built in Caro.

A state board on Tuesday, Dec. 19 approved a contract with a Troy firm to design the new Caro Center that will be on the same site as the existing Caro Center, a regional state hospital for adults with mental illness.

The new facility is proposed as a separate stand-alone complex that will provide 200 beds - compared to the 150 beds in the current hospital - in an environment that is safe, efficient and flexible for patients and staff.

The contractor is Integrated Design Solutions, which will provide design, architectural and engineering services for the project.

“We are pleased to begin moving forward with the design of a new Caro Center that will better meet the needs of people who need mental health services,” said Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Nick Lyon.

“The State of Michigan made a commitment to the Caro community that the new psychiatric hospital would remain in the community, and we are keeping that promise.”

The state will replace the aging hospital in Caro. The design phase for the new facility kicks off in early 2018. State officials expect the new hospital to be completed in 2021.

An evaluation committee with representatives from the Michigan Departments of Health and Human Services, Technology, Management and Budget, along with the State Budget Office, recommended Integrated Design Solutions from 14 firms that submitted proposals. The committee determined that Integrated Design Solutions, a design consultant with expertise in psychiatric facility design, provides the best value to the state. The contract is for $5,483,490.

Previously, the state was considering a new location for this facility.

In June, State Rep. Edward J. Canfield, D.O., and State Sen. Mike Green jointly announced that the state of Michigan had decided Caro would be home to a new regional psychiatric hospital.

“The Caro Center has been providing top-notch care for over 100 years, and with over 350 full-time employees, it is a critical employer in Tuscola County,” said Canfield (R-Sebewaing). “Moving it would devastate the county’s economy and make receiving proper treatment significantly more difficult for many patients.”

“(The) announcement that the new state hospital will be constructed at the site of the current Caro Center is a direct reflection of the strong community support for this facility,” said Green (R-Mayville).

The lawmakers pointed to data that shows more than 80 percent of the center’s patients come from a bordering county or from the south and east, which is still considered to be a reasonable driving distance. Data also shows about a third of the facility’s employees live in a Caro ZIP code and over 70 percent of workers live within 30 miles of the Caro Center.

The state-operated psychiatric hospitals are: Caro Center - Caro; Center for Forensic Psychiatry - Ann Arbor; Hawthorn Center - Northville; Kalamazoo Psychiatric Hospital - Kalamazoo; and Walter Reuther Psychiatric Hospital - Westland.

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