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“Mayview property likely will be split”

This article found on PittsburghLive.com at the following address … http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_612789.html Further discusses the potential use of the former Mayview State Hospital property

Mayview property likely will be split

By Bonnie Pfister

Saturday, February 21, 2009


The 300-acre campus of the former Mayview State Hospital likely will be split in two, with its tree-covered slopes preserved as green space, while the flatter area could be redeveloped into a residential “village” or business park.

South Fayette Township Manager Michael Hoy said Friday that removing 40 steeply sloped acres would likely make the grounds more attractive to developers. Proposals for the land that housed the psychiatric hospital are still in their infancy.

The property is zoned for either business or residential development.

Building a housing and treatment facility for people with mental-health issues also is a possibility, Hoy said.

Chris Goswick of the Allegheny County Department of Economic Development, and a member of the Mayview Land Reuse Task Force that met Thursday to discuss the future of the property, said the county can’t afford large-scale infrastructure work there. The land is accessible by a simple two-lane road only, and county resources already are tapped to cover upgrades to existing bridges and roads.

Mayview ceased to operate as a hospital in late December, although 11 patients are housed in what is now a long-term structured residence — the most secure type of housing-and-treatment facility available for people with mental illnesses. Those patients are expected to be moved to other accommodations by the end of June, said Rich Kuppelweiser, the facility’s chief operating officer.

On Thursday, about 60 activists with the Consumer Health Coalition urged task force co-Chairs Sen. John Pippy, R-Moon, and Nick Kotik, D-McKees Rocks, to find a way to bring proceeds of the land sale to the region for mental-health services. Sen. Jim Ferlo, D-Highland Park, introduced such a resolution Wednesday to the Legislature. Existing law requires proceeds of state land to go to a general fund.

Kotik offered his support, but made no promises.

“John and I will do all we can,” Kotik said. “But unless we can convince at least 26 senators and 102 legislators that this has merit, it’s not going to pass.”

Members of the task force will meet at least twice more before making final recommendations to the state, perhaps in May. The land sale is not expected for at least another year.

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