LARNED – One of the items proposed by Kansas Governor Sam Brownback Tuesday to address a projected $280 million budget shortfall for fiscal year 2015 was $5.4 million savings from the delay of the Larned State Hospital Meyer Building Expansion.
However, this may lead to some confusion, said Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services Director of Communications Angela de Rocha.
“Work on the unit is complete,” she said. “We are just delaying occupancy until January 2016.”
The funds saved would be those allocated for staffing and staffing-related issues. Such a facility, she said, requires a low staff-patient ratio.
The purpose of the renovation was to accommodate patients with medical needs greater than could be met in other LSH facilities. However, “admission rates of patients with those needs not as high as anticipated,” Rocha said.
So, the postponement of the opening won’t impact hospital operations. “It’s good to have spare space,” Rocha said.
The Meyer Building was constructed in 1950 on the grounds of Larned State Hospital. The original architecture and concrete structural frame have been maintained with various program changes and remodels through the years. The facility has 21,728 square feet, a basement of 553 square feet and a crawl space below the main floor.
The building houses more than one unit. In addition to the medical-needs unit being remodeled now, it also contains the Sexual Predator Treatment Program.
Laid out on a 78-acre campus, LSH is the largest psychiatric facility in the state serving the western two-thirds of Kansas with nearly 1,000 employees and the capacity to treat over 450 patients daily.