Part of historic hospital razed at University of Alabama

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) -- The east wing of the historic Bryce Hospital building is being demolished because of its structural problems, University of Alabama officials said.

The demolition is part of a larger plan to transform what once was Alabama's largest in-patient psychiatric facility into a new performing arts facility, The Tuscaloosa News reported.

The restored section of the Bryce Hospital building will eventually house a welcome center for the university's Performing Arts Academic Center, which will be an entirely new structure adjacent to the existing building.

The new Performing Arts Academic Center will feature four performance venues for theater and dance.

Along with housing the welcome center, the main Bryce building will also include a reception venue, faculty offices and rehearsal space, as well as museums dedicated to both UA history and the history of mental health in Alabama.

UA officials have said the project won't be completed until 2023 or 2024.