Phase II of the Minnesota Security Hospital expansion and renovation is underway. The $70.2 million second phase includes a major remodeling of 100,000 square feet of existing space and new construction of another 87,000 square feet.

Among the work, MSH Executive Director Carol Olson said four split-level bedroom wings were torn down Wednesday. “They came in with a big piece of equipment that started tearing off the wings that are going to be demolished and be replaced with better treatment units,” she explained.

Olson said they were able to shift some residents into the housing built in phase one of the project, which was completed in early 2017, and others into a building on the lower campus.

“We were able to manage the population by shifting into the new treatment units that were created and utilization of Bartlett Hall,” she said.

Minnesota Security Hospital Executive Director Carol Olson.

The units that were torn down had blind corners and other safety hazards for both patients and staff, and Olson said the renovation has successfully addressed those concerns and, “Staff are feeling very positive about the space, it’s providing a lot safer environment, the patients really appreciate the space.”

New acute care and transition housing will be added, and Olson said other areas of the facility will be brought up to current building codes. The project does not add any new beds to the facility. Work is expected to be complete by fall of 2020.

The first phase of construction, a $56.3 million project, was completed in January 2017.