Texas State Schools


Texas State Schools

Texas State Schools are a collection of residential facilities run by the state for people with developmental disabilities in Texas, United States. The schools operate under the Federal ICF-MR program.

Abilene State School

Abilene State School, located in Abilene, is home to approximately 500 people with developmental disabilities. Among amenities are two guest houses for visiting family members, a nature area, and a large park and playground area. The nature area and park are open to the public.

The site that was to become Abilene State School was originally a State Epileptic Colony. The project was launched in 1897 when Governor Joseph D. Sayer appointed a commission to select the site. The institution was to be patterned after the Craig Colony in New York, and was originally intended to house five hundred people.

Citizens of Abilene were eager to have the state select a nearby site, for the boost it would provide to the local economy. Since the water supply was poor, residents banded together to purchase land to build Lytle Lake. Citizens also donated $3,200 for the city to purchase convert|640|acre|km2|1 of land to be given to the state for the

institution.The Texas legislature unanimously approved the site in February 1899.

Construction, coordinated by Dr. John Preston, cost $200,000. The project consisted of an administration building, a power plant, one hospital each for men and women, four cottages, and a residence for the superintendent. The State Epileptic Colony was officially opened on March 26, 1904, with a population of 104 patients. Some were admitted free, and others paid $5 a week for room, board, medication, and care. By August 1904, the population was 201.Dr. T.B.Bass served as superintendent from 1909 to 1943. During his tenure, droughts caused water shortages and hurt crop production. World War I siphoned off staff, and wartime inflation caused fiscal hardship. The institution faced outbreaks of flu, small pox, and measels. In 1925, the State Epileptic Colony began admitting residents with mental illness as well as those with epilepsy. The name was changed to Abilene State Hospital.

The campus had expanded to sixty-three buildings by 1943, including officers' quarters, physicians' cottages, two hospitals, twenty-eight "wards", and a number of barns. The population of patients grew to 1,324.

Dr. Bass retired in 1943, and the institution went through a series of superintendents while the facility continued to expand. In 1949, the hospital began accepting African-American patients. Medical treatment was considered state-of-the-art, and the facility was self-sufficient. Mrs. May Corley, the hospital's first sociologist, said, "Everybody who lived and worked here had a job to do."

In 1957, the name of the facility was changed to Abilene State School, due to a shift in purpose to caring for people with developmental disabilities. This also allowed for the admission of children. M.J. Kelly, director for the State Board of Hospitals and Special Schools, said, "Instead of making these institutions places to retain patients, we intend to make them centers for curing patients and putting them on the road to recovery. We want all those children who can learn to receive the best of instruction." On October 31, 1963, President John F. Kennedy signed a bill providing federal aid for research, training, and rehabilitation for people with mental retardation throughout the country, which allowed increases in staff-to-patient ratios.

Austin State School

Austin State School, located in Austin, is home to approximately 440 people with developmental disabilities. The campus includes a canteen, infirmary, theater, nature trail, indoor pool and Jacuzzi, athletic field, a chapel with stained glass windows, and a guest house for visiting family members.

It was launched in 1915, when the Texas legislature passed House Bill 57, creating the State Colony for the Feebleminded, as the first facility specifically to house citizens with mental retardation. It was renamed Austin State School in 1925. The initial census was 65 residents, mostly female. At its peak Austin State School had a census of 2,000 and included a working dairy farm.

In 1965, the Texas Mental Health and Mental Retardation Act authorized county mental retardation centers, with the aim of helping people with mild retardation to live with their families. This caused a shift in the population of residents in State Schools to those with more profound mental retardation and multiple disabilities. By 1974, Austin State School's population had been reduced to 1,400.

Brenham State School

Brenham State School houses approximately 400 residents in 11 residential buildings on convert|200|acre|km2|1 in unincorporated Washington County, south of Brenham and between Austin and Houston. The state school serves a southeast Texas area including Brazos, Burleson, Grimes, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Montgomery, Robertson, Walker, and Washington counties. It is the largest employer in Brenham.

Brenham state school opened in January 1974, and was the first of the Texas State Schools to be certified as an ICF-MR (Intermediate Care Facility - Mental Retardation).

Brenham State school features a nature area, primarily for use of residents and family members but also available on a limited basis to outside organizations and citizens. Facilities include a log cabin, picnic area, and restrooms. The campus also has a park with a picnic area and pavilion.

Corpus Christi State School

Corpus Christi State School, located in western Corpus Christi, is on convert|104|acre|km2|1 that was originally the city’s Cliff Maus Airport.

It has 15 residential buildings serving approximately 370 residents ranging in age from 18 to 77 years. Specialized treatment units serve individuals with severe behavioral and/or emotional problems and more than 800 professionals and paraprofessionals are employed.

Corpus Christi State School opened in April 1970 as an independent school district for children with developmental disabilities. The original campus was convert|201|acre|km2|1 in size.

Denton State School

Denton State School, located in southeastern Denton convert|4|mi|km|0 south of Downtown Denton and convert|30|mi|km|-1 north of Downtown Dallas, houses approximately 650 residents, many of whom are medically fragile and require constant medical care. Most have severe to profound mental retardation and over half navigate the campus with wheelchairs or power chairs. The Denton State School employs about 1,500 staff and has a budget in excess of $44 million annually.

The campus has a central kitchen, 30-bed infirmary, canteen, cemetery, dental clinic, beauty shop, swimming pool, sheltered workshops, and central laundry. It also features one guest house and one guest apartment for visiting family members.

The Denton Chamber of Commerce learned in the late 1950s that the state was planning to build a mental retardation facility in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. Citizens donated money for the purchase of convert|200|acre|km2|1 of land, and the land was donated to the state with the stipulation that it be used to provide services to people with mental retardation.

The Denton State School was established in 1960 by the legislature, and opened in July of that year. By the end of the year it was housing 1,700 residents.

El Paso State Center

Opened in 1974, the El Paso State Center answered the community need for a long-term care facility for people with mental retardation in West Texas. The center is home to 150 people who live in eight cottages and three 16-bed units.

Located in the City of El Paso and serving El Paso County, the center employs approximately 300 people.

Lubbock State School

Opened in June 1969, the Lubbock State School, located in Lubbock, serves 54 counties in the Texas Panhandle. The campus is home to approximately 310 individuals, of whom 66 percent are male and 34 percent female. The average age is 45.

The school employs approximately 790 people.

Lufkin State School

Opened in 1962, the Lufkin State School is located in the heart of East Texas. The facility serves 28 countiesand is home to approximately 400 people who have mental retardation and varying degrees of disability.

The average age is 46.

Lufkin State School is the fourth-largest employer in Angelina County, with a workforce of approximately 900.

Mexia State School

Opened in 1946, the Mexia State School in unincorporated Limestone County is located west of Mexia and serves 12 counties. It was the first school for persons with mental retardation opened outside the immediate Austin area.

The convert|215|acre|km2|1|sing=on campus serves approximately 500 people. The average age is 44.

The facility includes five residential units,a gym and aquatics center, a sheltered workshop, medical acute-care unit, centralized dietary services, maintenance and transportation services, laundry, canteen, sewing room, all-faith chapel, guest house and camping facilities at nearby Lake Mexia.

There are two specialized treatment units that serve individuals with severe behavioral and/or emotional problems.

The school employs approximately 1,400 people.

Richmond State School

Opened in 1968, the Richmond State School is a community of more than 500 adults situated on convert|241|acre|km2|1 on the banks of the Brazos River in unincorporated Fort Bend County, adjacent to and not within the city limits of Richmond.

The campus serves a 13-county area, which includes Harris County. Approximately 1,200 employees staff the facility.

A program at Richmond, the Therapeutic Riding Center, offers individuals equine and pet-assisted activities.

Rio Grande State Center

Opened in 1962, the Rio Grande State Center in Harlingen answered the community need for a long-term care facility inthe Rio Grande Valley. The center serves Cameron, Hidalgo and Wallacy counties and is home to approximately75 people.

an Angelo State School

Opened in 1969 as the San Angelo Center, and renamed San Angelo State School in 1983, the facility in San Angelo originally operated as a tuberculosis hospital. The campus encompasses convert|1031|acre|km2|0, and includes 79 buildings.

The facility serves more than 300 individuals from 38 counties and is the ninth-largest employer for the city of San Angelo, with 710 employees. There are specialized treatment units that serve individuals with severe behavioral and/or emotional problems.

San Angelo State School Regional Recreation Park is located across U.S. 87 from the main campus, and features wilderness cabins, a petting zoo, and a low-ropes course along the banks of the Concho River. This area provides daytime and overnight camping to state school residents, as well as recreation sites for area nonprofit, civic, and religious organizations throughout the Concho Valley.

an Antonio State School

Opened in 1978, the San Antonio State School shares a 40 acre campus with the San Antonio State Hospital and the Texas Center for Infectious Disease.San Antonio State School serves 10 counties surrounding Bexar County.

The school has a staff of approximately 600, and is home to 300 people with mental retardation.

The average age is 45 years and the population is 59 percent male and 41 percent female.

Former state schools

The State of Texas closed the Fort Worth State School in Fort Worth and the Travis State School in 1999. [Handbook of Texas|id=BB/sbbts|name=Brenham State School]

Sources

External links

* [http://www.dads.state.tx.us/services/stateschools/index.html Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services]
* [http://www.dads.state.tx.us/news_info/publications/brochures/DADS196_stateschools.pdf Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services]


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