Selinsgrove Center

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Selinsgrove Center
Established 1917
Opened 1927
Current Status Active
Building Style Pavilion Plan
Architect(s) Eric, Fisher & Wood/C.J. Lappley
Location Selinsgrove, PA
Alternate Names
  • Selinsgrove State School and Hospital
  • Selinsgrove Epileptic Center
  • Eastern School for the Insane
  • Selinsgrove State Colony for Epileptics


Selinsgrove Center was established in 1917 as the Eastern School for the Insane. It is located near the town of Selinsgrove, PA in Penn Township. The facility consists of 51 buildings located on 254 acres of land.[1] Selinsgrove Center opened in 1929 with 180 male epileptics living in three buildings. As part of their treatment they farmed the center's property, more than 1,300 acres at the time. It wasn't until the 1940s that women and children were admitted. The increased population led to expansion. In the 1950s a law was passed that made the Selinsgrove State Colony for Epileptics a facility for the study, care, treatment, education and training for the mentally retarded and the name of the facility was changed to the Selinsgrove State School and Hospital. In the 1970s, the state began an initiative that continues today to place residents of its state centers into community group homes, leading to a slow decrease in population. Today (2009) the center cares for 348 residents, all older than 22, with an average resident age of 58. Nearly 900 employees provide medical and mental health care, physical and speech therapy, nutritional care and pastoral services. A vocational department provides work opportunities to center residents. As of 2004 the center was licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Health as a 584 bed intermediate care facility.[2]

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