Acadia Healthcare Co. Inc. and Reading Hospital will jointly construct a 144-bed inpatient psychiatric facility in Berks County, Reading Hospital's parent, Tower Health, said Tuesday.

Construction of the Bern Township facility, on an 80-acre parcel with room to expand, is expected to begin early next year with the opening anticipated in early 2019, Tower said. The partners did not disclose the cost of the project. A recent Tower bond offering statement said Tower will own 33 percent of the new facility, but will share equally in managing it.

An architectural rendering of the behavioral health hospital that Tower Health and Acadia Healthcare say they will build in Berks County, near Reading.
Tower Health
An architectural rendering of the behavioral health hospital that Tower Health and Acadia Healthcare say they will build in Berks County, near Reading.

The new facility is expected to offer inpatient adolescent, adult, and geriatric psychiatric care, plus outpatient services.

"We have an urgent need for additional behavioral-health resources in our community," said Clint Matthews, president and chief executive of Tower Health and Reading Hospital. Tower recently completed the acquisition of five hospitals in Southeastern Pennsylvania from Community Health Systems Inc. for $418 million.

Acadia, which is based in Franklin, Tenn., already has 1,401 beds at 31 facilities in Pennsylvania, more than in any other state, according to its most recent annual report. In 2015, it bought Belmont Behavioral Health, in Philadelphia, from Einstein Health Network for $39 million and embarked on a $105 million expansion.

The partnership between Acadia and Reading is similar to one between rivals Universal Health Services Inc. and Lancaster General Health, which is owned by the University of Pennsylvania Health System. UHS and Lancaster General are building a 126-bed behavioral health facility in Lancaster that is expected to open this summer.

When the Lancaster facility was announced last year, the partners said it would cost $30 million.