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Mental Health Awareness Month

Updated: May 26

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. It’s a month to raise awareness of those living with behavioral health issues and to help reduce the stigma so many experience. As the month comes to a close, we are highlighting some of our most recent behavioral projects at Cambridge Health Alliance, McLean Hospital, Southern Maine Health Care, Holyoke Medical Center, and St. Joseph's Hospital.


Fitzemeyer & Tocci has extensive experience and expertise in the design of behavioral health facilities and their unique project needs and challenges. Our experience spans all behavioral health populations, from pediatric to geriatric and from mental health counseling centers to forensic patient facilities.


Cambridge Health Alliance | Somerville Hospital Behavioral | 2nd, 5th, and 6th floor Renovations | Somerville, MA

F&T provided full MEP/FP design and construction administration for the Somerville Hospital to re-open as a Behavioral Health facility owned by Cambridge Health Alliance and funded by the State of MA. This project was fast-tracked, which opened one (20) bed unit and (4) 12 bed units within 12 months. The project included the conversions of office and vacant spaces into patient rooms, activity space, dining, multi-purpose rooms, staff rooms, consult rooms, offices, reception, and support spaces.


Holyoke Medical Center, 1st & 3rd Floor Behavioral Health Conversions, Holyoke, Massachusetts

F&T provided mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering for the renovation of 21,100 sf at the Holyoke Medical Center, consisting of the renovation of two areas. The 1st floor of the south building was renovated to provide a temporary adult behavioral wing, while the 3rd floor of the Memorial Building was renovated into a permanent pediatrics behavioral wing including patient rooms, staff areas, nurse stations, restrooms, and other support spaces. The new 3rd Floor behavioral wing required completely new MEP/FP infrastructure to support the wing as a permanent installation.

Photo Credit: Mike Sears Photography

Maine Health | Southern Maine Health Care, New Behavioral Unit, Sanford, Maine

Fitzemeyer & Tocci is providing full MEP/FP engineering and construction administration services for the design and construction of a new behavioral health unit at Southern Maine Health Care’s Sanford campus. Due to an increase in behavioral health cases and a lack of short-stay beds, SMHC constructed a new short-stay behavioral health care unit, which can accommodate up to 42 patients in a mix of private and semi-private rooms. This project is expected to generate more than 50 new jobs and provide critically needed bed capacity for York County patients who are experiencing short-term crises.


Although the general footprint fit the proposed program, the 1960’s-designed building had some shortcomings. In the initial infrastructure evaluation, F&T identified some of the facility’s primary HVAC systems needed upgrades. F&T’s infrastructure specialist team paralleled the behavioral project team and designed upgrades to the facility’s boiler plant and primary chiller equipment. With some advanced planning, the construction team was able to clear some abandoned equipment off the roof and clean up some deferred maintenance in the portion of the facility that had been vacant.

Photo Credit: Array Architects / Margulies Perruzzi

McLean Hospital, Facility Project Portfolio, Belmont, Massachusetts

McLean Hospital in Belmont, MA, a member of the Mass General Brigham organization, encompasses over 300 acres and has more than a dozen facilities that support all levels of behavioral health services and research. As an affiliate of the Harvard Medical School, McLean conducts some of the world’s leading behavioral health research. F&T has completed over 100 projects over 40 years at McLean Hospital including engineering design of the majority of their original campus buildings, and many renovations. Our work there includes programs of inpatient beds and treatment, outpatient treatment, research and laboratories, diagnostic imaging, dining and support services, and infrastructure upgrades.


Our McLean work specifically includes renovation and new construction projects for adolescent and adult populations, both inpatient and outpatient units. The last major project built at McLean included HVAC, plumbing, fire protection, and electrical engineering services for a 54,000-sf horizontal and vertical addition/renovation to an existing McLean Hospital inpatient bed facility. The four-story expansion included 50 inpatient beds, outpatient therapy areas, and facilities/infrastructure support areas. A new addition connected to all four floors of the existing operational hospital was constructed for a total cost of approximately $20,000,000. Ongoing work at McLean includes campus central infrastructure upgrades to both the central heating plant and medium voltage electrical service; to support the potential campus expansion in the near future.


St Joseph Hospital - Nashua - 4 North Geriatric Behavioral Renovation | Nashua, NH

This $5.4M renovation of the 4th floor of the North Building at St Joseph Hospital in Nashua, NH created a new, 26-bed geriatric behavioral health unit. F&T provided MEP/FP engineering and low voltage engineering services for the project. The largest challenge of the project was the desired schedule; St Joe’s challenged the project team to achieve occupancy in under 5 months from the start of the project concept. This was achieved with a highly collaborative approach between the design and construction team. The design included the replacement and upgrade of the ventilation, exhaust, and heating/cooling systems serving the area, as well as the water and hydronic heating systems; including a new rooftop air handler to replace the end-of-life unit for the previously vacant patient unit. The final design allows for efficient maintenance and improved resiliency in addition to providing all the behavior health features.