DMH New Worcester Recovery Center and Hospital

A new 320-bed recovery center and hospital serving individuals from all parts of the Commonwealth.

The innovative design provides an environment of care that maximizes the effectiveness of clinical and rehabilitation staff, allowing the facility to operate at an optimum ratio of staff to patients.

Project Details


DMH WRCH collage

Designer: Ellenzweig Associates, Inc.
Contractor: Gilbane Building Company
Project Type: CM at Risk
Project Cost: $302 Million
Gross Square Feet: 428,000
Substantial Completion Date: September 2013

The building's plan reflects the stages of recovery: by using familiar environments, ranging from "house" to "neighborhood" to "downtown." A secure facility, outdoor courts relate to each living unit, and the "downtown" surrounds a central "village green" shared by all. The low-rise scale will serve to emphasize the residential character, and minimize the stigma attached to psychiatric facilities. This new facility will enable DMH to close two antiquated facilities, parts of which dated to the 19th century, thereby dramatically reducing future operating and capital expenses. With the significant advances in the field of psychiatric care, which are reducing the number of people who need long term care, this building may become the central psychiatric care facility for the entire state.

Project Features

  • The hospital provides a state-of-the-art, high quality, safe and respectful environment for patients, promoting active rehabilitation as a key component of therapeutic care
  • The programmatic approach of small to large spaces is driven by the concept of the therapeutic approach to treatment
  • Private bedrooms, soon to be required for accreditation, enhance the ability of staff to provide individualized care
  • Central kitchen with basement-level distribution of prepared meals allows economy of scale for cooking, yet individualized dining for patients, fostering the home-like setting
  • Joining of "neighborhoods" to serve multiple units permits a richer mix of professional skills in the staff, enhancing patient treatment and recovery
  • Village green and downtown activity areas provide secure, safe recreational areas for patients
  • Optimum configuration permits efficient patient to staff ratios, enhancing the effectiveness of Federal reimbursement funds
  • Electronic access to medical records will enhance the staff's ability to provide optimum care
  • LEED Gold Certification