WASHINGTON, - The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is setting up its new HQ in a former lunatic asylum.

The DHS says it will consolidate most of the 60 offices it has across the Washington, D.C. region into a single new headquarters building.

The $3 billion move will begin in 2011, according to a plan prepared by the DHS, once a new building is ready in the grounds of the former mental hospital, St. Elizabeth's.

The U.S. Coast Guard will be the first element of the DHS to move into the new building in 2011, department Spokesman Larry Orluskie told United Press International.

The DHS's headquarters functions will follow in 2013, and the other components slated for centralization will move in after that.

Orluskie said that the U.S. Secret Service, the biometric system for tracking foreign visitors called U.S.-VISIT, the new Domestic Nuclear Detection Office, the Office of the Inspector General, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and the DHS Science and Technology Directorate will probably remain in their current locations.