It was an idea a decade in the making, one that lawmakers say addresses safety issues surrounding the Hawaii State Hospital.

Safety issues for staff, patients and the community.

"These buildings were never built for forensic patients, for patients that were put here by the court system," Sen. Jill Tokuda said. 

100-percent of the hospitals current patients have come from the court system. The hospitals current buildings are said to be out of date and overcrowded. Escapes happen every year.

"It will be extremely hard if not impossible for somebody to escape from this building," William May, Hawaii State Hospital Administrator said. 

"Right now they're at such capacity and overcapacity, they're having to put patients in rooms that weren't meant to be rooms," Tokuda said. 

A new four story building will go up here on the Kaneohe campuses upper lot. It'll add 144 new beds to the facility that's currently operating at max capacity housing 204 patients in 202 beds.

"We're laying the foundation for a new way in delivering quality psychiatric care for the citizens of the state of Hawaii of all the islands," May said. 

Groundbreaking for the structure was held on Wednesday and construction is expected to be completed by late 2020.