When mental hospital closes, towns ask what's next - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

When mental hospital closes, towns ask what's next

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By CHRISTINA A. CASSIDY
Associated Press

MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. (AP) - Next month will mark a watershed moment in efforts to redevelop Georgia's Central State Hospital, once home to as many as 13,000 patients with mental illness or other maladies.

A small technology firm is among the first to move into an office space as part of efforts to redevelop the nearly 2,000-acre campus.

For years, local officials have grappled with what to do with the massive property. They're not alone, as numerous state mental hospitals around the country have been closing in recent years in favor of a more community-based housing approach for the mentally ill.

What's often left behind is a large piece of land that once employed hundreds if not thousands of local residents, so there's economic incentive to succeed. Efforts in other states have had mixed results.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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