High Point considers rezoning proposed mental hospital site

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HIGH POINT, N.C. – A company wanting to build a mental health hospital in High Point said the city is trying to rezone property to stop the project.

GEO Care, based out of Boca Raton, Fla., wants to build a forensic mental health hospital at the old Evergreens senior health care facility on Greensboro Road.

The facility would have 90 beds and create 185 new jobs, said Tom Terrell, GEO Care’s lawyer. Annual salaries would range from $25,000 to $200,000, Terrell said.

Terrell said the company wants to open the facility because of the state’s desire to replace Dorthea Dix Hospital in Raleigh with smaller, privately run facilities statewide.

The company wants to buy the 22 acres Evergreens used to sit on, but City of High Point officials are considering rezoning it for apartments, daycares and single-family houses.

“This proposed rezoning is a defensive effort. There is a general negative response to a forensic hospital that has come from some councilmembers,” Terrell said.

If council voted to rezone, Terrell said the company would put its facility somewhere other than High Point.

“It’s not asking for any incentives, and yet you take efforts and actions to keep that company from coming in?” Terrell said.

City of High Point officials did not return requests for comment Monday. The city has scheduled hearings on Dec. 13 and Dec. 16 about rezoning the property.