State OKs Las Vegas psychiatric hospital plans |

State OKs Las Vegas psychiatric hospital plans

Designs for the new 150-bed state psychiatric hospital in Las Vegas were approved by the Public Works Board on Monday.

The board voted to move that project ahead, despite complaints from neighborhood groups that say it’s inappropriate in an area which contains Community College of Southern Nevada and several public and private schools, churches and day-care centers.

Human Resources officials point out the 109-bed hospital which the new facility will replace is practically next door to the site. They also argued that psychiatric patients aren’t necessarily violent or dangerous, and they expressed concern any delay could put off building the hospital until after the next state Legislature in 2005.

They said because of the shortage of psychiatric beds in Southern Nevada, those patients take up as many as a quarter of the emergency room beds in Las Vegas, adversely affecting emergency medical care.

Board member and state Director of Administration Perry Comeaux pointed out the location issue will be up to the Las Vegas Planning Commission and city council when they hear the arguments in February and March.

The hospital, modeled after the Dini-Townsend Center in Sparks, will cost about $19 million and is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2005.

The board also approved initial designs for the $23.4 million Henderson State College classroom and administration building and a $6.5 million Department of Motor Vehicles building in North Las Vegas.