- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 21, 2014

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - State and local officials in Tuscaloosa are celebrating upgrades to a state psychiatric hospital.

Gov. Robert Bentley, Department of Mental Health Commissioner Jim Reddoch and other officials took part in the dedication ceremony Wednesday for the new Bryce Hospital in Tuscaloosa.

Officials say the 260,000 square foot facility includes 268 patient beds, a neighborhood clinical therapy area, a recovery center and more.

Bentley says upgrades to the facility cost $81 million and was built after the Department of Mental Health sold the hospital’s property to the University of Alabama.

Bryce was considered a national model of humane care when it opened in 1861.

The hospital was the subject of a landmark federal court lawsuit in the 1970s that led to changes in the way mental patients are treated nationwide.

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