State of Missouri issues $92 million in bonds for Fulton State Hospital

Missouri’s AAA credit rating ensures low interest rates for construction of a state-of-the-art facility that will improve care and safety
November 19, 2014

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Office of Administration today announced the issuance of an initial $92 million in bonds to support the rebuilding of Fulton State Hospital.  The project will replace aging facilities with a state-of-the-art mental hospital that will be safer and more conducive to modern treatment.

“Today’s bond issuance is another concrete example of how our efforts to protect Missouri’s AAA credit rating are paying real dividends for taxpayers and communities,” Gov. Nixon said. “Ensuring access to quality mental health services is a critical priority, and thanks to our commitment to fiscal discipline and spotless AAA credit rating, we’re able to replace this aging facility with a modern, state-of-the-art mental hospital that will serve communities in every corner of the state.  A new Fulton State Hospital will mean better care for patients and greater safety for employees, and I am pleased to see this project continuing to move forward.”

The Missouri Development Finance Board today gave final authorization on the issuance of an initial $92 million in bonds to allow the project to move forward. The recent reaffirmation of Missouri’s AAA credit ratings by national credit rating agencies helped ensure an interest rate of 3.4 percent over the life of the 25-year bonds.

Missouri last issued bonds for new projects in November of 2007 for the state’s Water Pollution Control loan program, which provided funding for the planning, financing and construction of sewage treatment facilities by any county, municipality or sewer district.

In 2014, Gov. Nixon announced the selection of Parsons Brinckerhoff, a global consulting firm with offices in St. Louis, as the lead design firm for the Fulton State Hospital project. Construction of the facility is expected to begin in the late spring/early summer of 2015 and be completed in 2017.

Gov. Nixon’s Fiscal Year 2015 budget included the funds for a strategic bond issuance to support the construction of a new high security forensic psychiatric facility in Fulton that will be safer and more conducive to modern treatment. The Legislature agreed with this priority and appropriated the necessary funding. According to studies, the cost of this new facility is estimated to be $211 million. The Missouri Department of Economic Development estimates that a $211 million project could create more than 2,500 jobs during its construction.

Opened in 1851, Fulton State Hospital is the oldest state psychiatric hospital west of the Mississippi River and houses the state’s only maximum security psychiatric facility. The Biggs Forensic Center at Fulton treats patients with serious mental illness who are committed by Missouri courts for evaluation and treatment related to a crime, or who have seriously assaulted patients or staff in other state psychiatric hospitals. Since 2007, Fulton State Hospital has taken in more than 1,500 admissions from 100 Missouri counties and the City of St. Louis.