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Hutchings Psychiatric Center Bldg 8
Syracuse, New York
New York State Office of Mental Health

Hutchings Psychiatric Center is a comprehensive, community-based mental health facility that provides an integrated network of inpatient and outpatient services for children and adults residing in the Central New York region. It is situated on a twelve-building campus in the heart of the Syracuse medical community.

The 1960s campus served a much lower level of clinical acuity than now exists. The open campus with minimal internal security provides inadequate opportunities for the more acute patients to self-directed movement, decreases their ability to effectively participate in therapeutic programming, and decreases their access to outdoor activities.

The new Campus Master Plan interconnects several inpatient buildings to provide indoor, interconnected, secure access to each building and encloses several secure yards. The rehabilitation of Building 8 is the first phase to implement the Master Plan. This $15 million DASNY project, which included the renovation of 35,000 square feet and 10,000 square feet of additions, created two 25-bed state-of-the-art inpatient psychiatric units.

Inpatients now have secure, indoor access to all treatment and residential programs. The increase of secure, less restricted access encourages earlier and more consistent patient participation in therapeutic activities, enhancing prospects for recovery for all. Staff have a greater ability to supervise patient on-unit activities, while lessening need for staff escort for access to many off-unit activities. Finally, the creation of two secure activity yards allows higher risk patients more ready access to outdoor activities.

The project was designed, and documents were generated, with BIM software.

The human side of architecture