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To his Excellency GEO. C. PERKINS, Governor of the State of California:
In compliance with law, as Directors of the State Insane Asylum at Stockton, we hereby submit our biennial report for the two years ending July 1, 1882.
Accompanying this report, and as a part thereof, will be found the two annual reports of the Medical Superintendent, which give separately a full and detailed account of the operations of said institution for each of the two years embraced in this report.
The Treasurer's report for the thirty-third and thirty-fourth fiscal years, the two years ending July 1, 1882, is also hereto annexed, and constitutes a part of this report.
The expenditures in all the several departments have been kept within the respective sums appropriated therefor, and have been less than the appropriation where the full amount was not required for the special purpose for which the appropriation was made.
The amount remaining in the graveling fund at the date of our last report has been expended to within $158 58, and the appropriation of $5,000 for that purpose will soon be exactly balanced by its entire exhaustion. This appropriation has been used in a manner highly satisfactory. The improvement for which it was designed was indispensable, and it has been accomplished so efficiently and with such à degree of relief from the inconvenience previously experienced that it is obviously of greater value than the sum of its cost.
By an Act of the Legislature, approved April 15, 1880, the sum of $85,000 was appropriated for the erection of an additional building to this Asylum. In June, 1880, steps were taken in the contemplated work by inviting a number of architects to submit plans therefor, which resulted in the adoption of the plan presented by Percy & Hamilton, architects of San Francisco and Stockton. After advertising for bids for the erection of the building, the proposition of William Confer (Confer Brothers) was accepted, and the contract awarded to them for $72,000 in round numbers, the exact sum paid being found in the Treasurer's report hereto annexed, to which reference is made.
The work of excavation was commenced the latter part of 1880, but owing to the inclemency of the season it was January 24, 1881, when the first bricks were laid. The work was prosecuted as rapidly as practicable through the year 1881, and the building was finished and accepted January 10, 1882.
The architects, Messrs. Percy & Hamilton, superintended its construction in a faithful and satisfactory, manner, and the contractors, Confer Brothers, performed their work with commendable fidelity. A description of the structure, and the character and extent of the accommodations afforded thereby, will be found in the Superintendent's report hereto annexed.
It will be seen by reference to former reports, that the appropriation for the additional building was asked for, not to enlarge the capacity of the institution, but to take the place of certain wards unfit for use. Hence, these wards, contained in low, damp, detached structures, called "mad houses," have been discontinued; the buildings taken down and removed; and the patients therein, and those of that class, are now properly accoin inodated in the new building.
But there is still a large number of patients, as will be seen by the Superintendent's report, who are kept in a cheap, inferior wooden building, for want of other and proper accommodations. This building was erected long ago, under an imperative demand for more room, between the sessions of the Legislature, when there was no opportunity for obtaining the authority and means to justify the expenditure an appropriate structure would cost. The accommodations in it are below any reasonable modern standard for convenience and comfort, and they are still more unfit for such occupants from danger of fire.
We therefore earnestly recommend that the new brick building be extended to take the place of the wooden one, and to give accommodations to such further number of patients as are not now supplied with proper room. Plans and estimates of cost for such extension will be presented to the proper committees of the next Legislature.
The sum of fifteen thousand dollars was appropriated to furnish the building authorized by the Act of 1880. The furnishing has been done on such a scale and style, with a view to economy, that only about two thirds of the appropriation will be used or required, hence a surplus of between four and five thousand dollars will remain in the State treasury.
It will be seen by reference to the tabular statements in the Superintendent's reports, that the per capita cost of the maintenance of the Asylum for the thirty-third fiscal year was only thirty-nine cents per day, and for the thirty-fourth fiscal year, forty-one cents per day, making the average for the two years embraced in this report, forty cents. This includes the pay of physicians, employés, common repairs, and all the ordinary expense of carrying on the institution.
For a more complete and exact statement of the financial transaction of the institution during the past two years, we refer you to the accompanying report of the Treasurer.
Finally, we commend this public charity to your favorable consideration, in the hope that you will bespeak for it a liberal spirit, and fostering care on the part of our Legislature.
INSANE Asylum, Stockton, California, November 10, 1882.