Construction on WLRC improvements could begin in 2017

The future of Lander's Wyoming Life Resource Center is beginning to take shape, and Rep. Lloyd Larsen filled in the local LEADER group on the plans this morning. As has been reported in recent months, the State Hospital is running out of space for growing population of involuntary hospitalizations for mental health reasons, also known as Title 25 patients. Much of the space that should be used for these clients and criminals suffering mental illness is being taken by patients who need more long-term care and hard to place into community programs. The plan is to remodel the WLRC to take on more of these clients to free up space for the criminals and Title 25 patients in Evanston. What does this mean for current and long-time clients of the WLRC? Anyone living there as of right now will not be forced to leave, though they will have the option to leave should they so choose. However, from here on out, any new WLRC clients must have transition plans to get help them improve their abilities and transition them to a community program like Community Entry Services or to return home. During the legislative session earlier this year, Larsen said legislators were able to secure the final portion of about $150 million to remodel and expand the Wyoming State Hospital in Evanston and the WLRC. Both facilities require extensive improvements and modernizations. Final design contracts should be bid out and selected in May. The construction will begin in 2017. Larsen said that while the money for the WLRC is currently earmarked, the legislature has reserved the right to repurpose some of it if needed, given the current economy. At a minimum work will begin in Evanston in 2017. If the WLRC work can't begin, then tweaks to the State Hospital design will be done to create more multi-use space, rather than have it specific to one type of client. #county10 #news