Gilbert moms upset with proposed mental hospital development near school

GILBERT, AZ - A group of moms in Gilbert are taking on a new role: school guardians.

They're pledging to do whatever it takes to keep their kids safe, and it involves putting a stop to a construction project already in motion.

On the corner of Baseline and Quinn roads in Gilbert you'll find a vacant, overgrown lot. On that lot, you'll see a big yellow sign, promising development.

But seemingly good news turned sour for a group of moms when they zeroed in on these three little words: behavioral health hospital.

"I want to do whatever I can to stop this," said one mom.

"This is a risk I don't think we should be taking," said another.

Another said: "This poses a great risk to our children."

Because a mental health facility will be built directly next to an elementary school.

"It's going to have three fences, but the one side that's not going to have a fence is open to Pioneer Elementary School that you can see right there," said Amy Higgins.

Town leaders in Gilbert tell ABC15 zoning laws allow hospitals to be built on this property, and there are no grounds for an appeal.

"We are not against the facility, we are absolutely sensitive to the need for mental health and behavioral hospitals, it's just the irony of the location," said Amy Peterson.

And, it's especially concerning to these moms because of recent events at Sandy Hook Elementary.

"They will be able to voluntarily leave whenever they want to and these are people coming off drugs and mentally unstable and I don't think that's a safe thing to have right next to an elementary school," said one mom.

The company building the hospital is located in Kentucky. ABC15 reached out to them, but, we're still waiting to hear back.

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