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Low Appraisal for Hospital in Lease Plan

A state-owned hospital that Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal hoped to lease for $35 million is worth only $20.9 million at best, according to a new appraisal of the New Orleans Adolescent Hospital.

The administration wants to dedicate the potential lease payments to health care costs as part of its strategy to avoid a revenue gap in the fiscal 2013 budget. The current budget includes $35 million in revenue from the proposed long-term lease.

The appraisal released last week said the roofs have collapsed at some of the facilities on the 17-acre site and there are probably hazardous wastes on the property that must be cleaned up. The site includes a five-story hospital and a former plantation house.

The state acquired the property from the federal government in 1981. The hospital originally treated mentally ill children but began admitting adults after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. It was closed in 2009 to cut costs.

Children's Hospital said in March it would buy the shuttered hospital, but the 2012 Legislature said the facility could only be leased.

Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols said negotiations are continuing with Children's Hospital on a long-term lease of the facility.

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