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OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR — News Release — Hawaii State Hospital in Kaneohe breaks ground for new 144-bed forensic patient facility

Posted on Aug 8, 2018 in Latest Department News, Office of the Governor Press Releases

Graphics/Renderings Courtesy of KMD Architects

KANEOHE, Hawaii – Hawai‘i State Hospital in Kāne‘ohe broke ground for a new four-story, 144-bed, secure forensic psychiatric facility totaling 170,000 square feet.

For years, the design constraints of the psychiatric hospital were unable to keep pace with the ever-increasing patient population and high percentage of high-risk forensic patients. By law, Hawai‘i State Hospital must accept all patients ordered by the judicial court system to be admitted for evaluation, care and custody.

In 2015, the state Department of Health (DOH), which operates the hospital, updated the 10-year-old master plan to optimize the use of the facility’s 103-acre property in Kaneohe, Hawai‘i. In 2016, the Hawai‘i State Legislature supported Gov. David Ige’s urgent request to address the over-crowded patient conditions and voted in favor of a major capital improvement allocation to bring Hawai‘i State Hospital into the 21st century. In 2016, the 70-year-old Goddard Building was demolished to make way for the new facility.

“We are well aware of the challenges that Hawai‘i State Hospital faces,” said Gov. Ige. “There is overcrowding, and as a result, safety is compromised. Together, we took action and are doing something about it. Together, we have been able to accelerate the progress of the building without circumventing laws, taking shortcuts or compromising our integrity. We brought the best minds together, and we are now seeing the fruits of our labor.”

The new building is expected to be completed in late 2020 and be ready to be occupied in early 2021.

In January 2018 the State Department of Accounting and General Services (DAGS) awarded a $140 million contract to a design-build team led by Hensel Phelps to design and construct the new facility.
“The new building here on the grounds of Hawai‘i State Hospital represents our state’s commitment to improving mental health care in our community. Mental health is as important as our physical well-being,” said Dr. Bruce Anderson. “Just as medical care has evolved, behavioral health is also changing and is demanding new ways of caring for patients and new ways of designing care facilities.”

William May, Hawai‘i State Hospital administrator, said the new facility will incorporate clinical best practices and create a modern therapeutic environment. The new facility will include patient care units, a comprehensive rehabilitation mall, outdoor courtyards, admissions and transfer suites, building support functions, and office spaces — all within a secured area.

For a list of other construction subcontractors working on the project and periodic progress updates, visit

Media Contacts:
Janice Okubo
State Department of Health
Communications Office
Office: 808-586-4445

Jodi Leong
Deputy Communications Director/Press Secretary
Office of the Governor
Office: 808-586-0043
Mobile: 808-798-3929
[email protected]

Cindy McMillan
Communications Director
Office of the Governor
Office: 808-586-0012
Mobile: 808-265-7974
[email protected]