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Northam plans spending to rebuild psychiatric hospital

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is proposing a new budget amendment to replace an aging psychiatric hospital in the central part of the state.

Northam took a tour of Central State Hospital outside of Petersburg on Monday before announcing plans to ask lawmakers to approve adjustments to the state’s capital budget to spend more than $300 million to rebuild the hospital.

The Democratic governor says there is bipartisan support to address the urgent need to upgrade the hospital, which is a collection of several buildings spread out on a sprawling campus in Dinwiddie County.

Central State Hospital opened after the Civil War as a psychiatric hospital for African Americans. It was integrated in 1967.

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