The historic Binghamton building known as "The Castle" at what once was the New York State Inebriate Asylum is to be transformed into a medical campus.State officials say an Albany architectural firm has been hired to oversee the restoration project on Binghamton's East Side.

More than $12 million in funding for the first phase of the project had been provided in a SUNY capital budget a few years ago. Money for the work was released by the governor's office a few weeks ago.

Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo on Monday said the Castle restoration and reuse project is "finally moving forward."

Speaking on WNBF Radio's Binghamton Now program, Lupardo said work on the building should get underway next spring.

The Castle was built in 1858. It was named a National Historic Landmark in 1997.

Lupardo said the building has been empty for almost twenty years.

Dr. David Smith, president of SUNY Upstate Medical University, said the development of the Binghamton center will help address a shortage of physicials and other healthcare professionals in New York.

Smith said some offerings could be offered at the new Binghamton site in about three years.

The Castle is on the grounds of the Greater Binghamton Health Center at the east end of Robinson Street.

It most recently had been used by the Binghamton Psychiatric Center.