New plans for Carraway?

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Plans to bring Bryce Hospital patients and workers to Birmingham may change according to a Birmingham lawmaker.

Carraway Hospital sits abandoned in North Birmingham. State Representative John Rogers says the Bryce Hospital operation relocation is an economic shot in the arm to Birmingham. "We are not going to back off of Bryce Hospital. It would give us a win, win, win. Property would be utilized for state offices on the property where Carraway is," Rogers said.

Rogers was lining up regional support in the county to back the relocation but the lawmakers says the Governor asked him to hold off. But, Rogers says he spoke with Riley on Monday and Rogers says Riley has other plans.  "The governor is backing off. The does not want to bring Bryce Hospital here. He doesn't believe Bryce is big enough occupy the entire property at Carraway," Rogers said.

Governor Riley's Press Secretary Todd Stacy told FOX6 News "Even if this doesn't work out, the state wants to work out options on that. The state is interested in exploring other avenues for Carraway."

Most of those who live in the Norwood neighbhorhood are split over relocating mentally challenged patients to the area but all agree they don't want the massive hospital sitting idle."It doesn't have to sit idle. The people in the community can make a decision. We want Norwood Hospital facilitated, filled up now."Ben Owens said.

Rogers says he will back the governor's new plan if it benefits Birmingham. The Board of Directors of  the Alabama Mental Health Board will meet in a special call meeting on Wednesday. It's expected  the board will discuss the situation. Board members recently toured the Carraway facility.