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In This Issue:
BWH President Gary Gottlieb, at podium, with, from left, Barbara Leadholm, commissioner for the Department of Mental Health, Cliff Robinson, area director for the Department of Mental Health, JudyAnn Bigby, MD, secretary of Health and Human Services, and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino.
Plans are in store for a brand new facility to replace the current Massachusetts Mental Health Center site on Fenwood Road, in addition to a clinical and research building for BWH and a major affordable housing complex for the Roxbury Tenants of Harvard.
“Welcome home,” said BWH President Gary Gottlieb, MD, MBA, to the staff and patients of Mass. Mental Health Center who attended a ceremony last week to announce the intent to move forward on the Massachusetts Mental Health Center Redevelopment Project. The health center is temporarily housed at the Lemuel Shattuck Hospital.
“The Massachusetts Mental Health Center will be returned to this neighborhood as a state-of-the-art facility that promotes recovery and resilience for those with serious mental illness,” Gottlieb said.
The redevelopment project is a collaborative effort among BWH, the Department of Mental Health, the Division of Capital Asset Management and Roxbury Tenants of Harvard. Officials and representatives from BWH, the Department of Mental Health, Roxbury Tenants of Harvard, the city and the state came together during last week’s ceremony.
The redevelopment project includes plans for four buildings, with landscaped open space:
The Partial Hospital Fenwood Inn building to be housed in a 3-story brick building on Vining Street to support both outpatient services and transitional housing for up to 47 Department of Mental Health clients.
The Binney Street building, a six-story, 56,000-square-foot building with lots of glass and natural light to provide clinical and administrative space for the department for 10 years, at which point they would move into the new Brigham building.
The Roxbury Tenants of Harvard’s 15-story residential building would include 66 affordable rental units and 70 condominiums that will be a combination of affordable and market rate units.
The Brigham building, a 358,000- square-foot building to combine research and clinical functions, as well as an underground parking garage with 406 spaces and connections to the Shapiro Cardiovascular Center.
“Mental health services are needed now more than ever,” said Boston Mayor Thomas Menino. “When this project gets done, we’ll be able to offer services to more people because a lot of folks have worked hard and cared to make a difference.”
Many approvals are needed before the project gets underway, but those working on the project are hopeful that demolition of the current site could begin as early as next spring, with construction of the new Mass. Mental Health Center beginning in early summer. That would allow the building to open in early 2011.
Michael McDade, a client of the Department of Mental Health, pointed out the significance of the juxtaposition of the new Mass. Mental Health Center.
“The Shapiro Cardiovascular Center and Mass. Mental Health Center will stand facing each other, heart and mind joined in the 21st century of care,” he said. “As Mr. Rogers used to say, ‘It’s a wonderful day in the neighborhood.’”