Mount Carmel Health System and Tennessee-based Acadia Healthcare have announced a joint venture agreement to develop a $26 million behavioral-health hospital in Columbus.

The announcement, dated today, July 24, didn’t specify the location, but the new hospital will replace the current 20-bed inpatient psychiatric unit at Mount Carmel West, with a freestanding 80-bed inpatient behavioral-health hospital, quadrupling Mount Carmel's current capacity for inpatient mental-health services, according to the news release.

"There is a crucial need in our community for inpatient behavioral-health services," Sean McKibben, president of Mount Carmel West, said in the release. "It's critical to our mission that we expand our capacity of mental-health services to meet our community's needs. We searched long and hard for a partner that would share our commitment to our patients and providing behavioral health services in central Ohio. We found that in Acadia."

Construction on the new hospital is expected to begin this year.

A location is being finalized for the 64,300-square-fot facility, which will include three permanent units — geriatric, adult and dual diagnosis. A fourth unit will flex, based on specific community needs, according to the news release. Additional features include an activity therapy center and gymnasium, an outpatient therapy center, an electroconvulsive therapy center and outdoor activity yards. It's expected to open in fall 2018.

"We're thrilled to be partnering with Mount Carmel on this joint venture and bringing more behavioral health services to this community," Joey Jacobs, CEO and chairman of Acadia Healthcare, said in the release. "We have seen a need for inpatient mental-health services in this community. Mount Carmel's values and dedication to putting patients first made this partnership a great fit to do just that."

Emergency, outpatient and outreach services will remain at Mount Carmel West, 793 W. State St.

Meanwhile, Mount Carmel is building a new 210-bed hospital in Grove City, also set to open next year. It will join an emergency room, which is already open, and a 54,000-square-foot medical-office building.

Acadia had operated a network of 575 behavioral-health facilities with about 17,200 beds in 39 states, the United Kingdom and Puerto Rico, according to the news release. Acadia provides behavioral-health and addiction services to its patients in a variety of settings, including inpatient psychiatric hospitals, residential treatment centers, outpatient clinics and therapeutic school-based programs.

Mount Carmel comprises more than 10,900 colleagues, 2,100 physicians and 900 volunteers at four hospitals — Mount Carmel East, Mount Carmel West, Mount Carmel St. Ann’s and Mount Carmel New Albany.