HHSC Celebrates Grand Opening of Austin State Hospital

News Release
Texas Health and Human Services Commission
Cecile Erwin Young
HHS Executive Commissioner
Jennifer Ruffcorn, 512-424-6951

AUSTIN – The Texas Health and Human Services Commission today celebrated the grand opening of a new $305 million replacement hospital at Austin State Hospital.

The Austin State Hospital serves more than 75 counties in Central Texas. Treatment at the hospital focuses on patients stabilizing their acute psychiatric illnesses and eventually returning to the community to continue to heal through community-based options.

“Texas continues working to increase access to behavioral health treatment for citizens across the state,” said Gov. Greg Abbott. “This new facility will provide innovative inpatient psychiatric care that will improve the quality of behavioral health care in the greater Austin area. This grand opening connects the history of the oldest state hospital to our state’s future through renovations that ensure Austin State Hospital continues to serve Texans for generations to come.”

The 381,687-square-foot, non-maximum-security unit features 240 single-person rooms designed to balance privacy and security, common activity areas, outdoor courtyards and the use of natural light throughout each space to promote recovery and healing.

“HHSC is very excited about the new opportunities this state-of-the-art facility will bring,” said Texas Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Cecile Erwin Young. “Staff will be able to provide compassionate inpatient psychiatric treatment in a modern facility that matches their innovative practices.”

HHSC partnered with Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin to construct the new hospital, and more than 100 mental health advocates and organizations assisted with its design.

"Today marks an impactful step forward in our collaborative efforts to transform mental health care for Central Texans most in need,” said Claudia Lucchinetti, M.D., dean of Dell Medical School and senior vice president for medical affairs at UT Austin. “It is a privilege to be part of this collaboration of community partners to design and build an environment that enables comprehensive, person-centered care for patients in Austin and beyond.”

Since 2017, Texas leaders have invested more than $2.5 billion to replace, renovate and rebuild state hospitals across the state. In April, HHSC hosted a grand opening for the San Antonio State Hospital. In addition, construction is complete at Kerrville and Rusk state hospitals and the John S. Dunn Behavioral Sciences Center recently celebrated its two year anniversary.

Austin State Hospital has been in operation since 1861 and is the oldest psychiatric hospital in Texas. Construction on the new facility began in October 2019.

For more information about state hospital construction projects, visit the HHSC Changes to Texas State Hospitals webpage.


Images are available of the new replacement hospital.