Building Briefs: September 2010

Two possible sites are being considered for the location of the new judicial center in Franklin County, Pa. Carter Goble Lee, based in Columbia, S.C., is managing the project. According to CGL, building the new center on an auto dealership property at North Second and Grant streets would cost $45.8 million. An alternative site in the first block of North Main Street would cost $58.7 million and includes a parking garage. At issue is whether or not the parking garage is worth the cost. The North Main Street proposal would still be more expensive than the other proposal if the proposed parking garage was taken out of the picture, coming in at about $50 million. An architectural engineering firm will look at both sites. A design firm for the project will be chosen from the five currently running for the job.
Construction is under way for the Meherrin River Regional Jail in Alberta, Va. The Meherrin River Regional Jail Authority has been working on the new jail project, aimed at housing inmates from three counties, since 2005. Once completed, the jail will house 400 general-purpose beds, with 340 set aside for males and 60 for females. It will also include a housing section, composed of four units for males and one unit for females, and an Administrative/Support Section. According to officials, the project is much needed due to overcrowding currently faced in local jails.
State and local officials recently gathered for the groundbreaking on a new state women’s prison in Mitchellville, Iowa. The current prison houses more than 700 women, up from less than 600 in 2000. When the new $68 million prison is complete, it will have room for 888 women. Additionally, about 40 percent of the women coming into Iowa’s prison system have a diagnosed mental illness, and the new facility will include a mental health facility. The cost of construction is $47.5 million, and the funding comes from the state’s I-JOBS program. The construction project is slated to be completed in late 2013.
Officials announced that they are in the process of developing plans for the expansion and improvement of the 30-year-old county jail in Canadian County, Okla. The proposed project would add 150 beds and updates to the kitchen. The jail was nearly shut down by state health inspectors last year due to water leaks, mold and electrical issues. Officials hope to get a proposal on the ballot by December and voter approval of an $8 million jail renovation and expansion. In 2008 voters rejected a sales tax to fund a new $25 million jail. County officials are still in debate on how the renovations will be funded. One idea on the table is using funds intended for the Canadian County Children’s Justice Center.
A $33 million renovation and expansion is being planned for the judicial complex in Curry County, N.M. The 1930’s-era courthouse has been virtually unchanged, except for an extension done in the 1950’s. If the current master plan is approved, the first phase of the Curry County Criminal Justice Complex project would involve renovation and expansion of several key locations, including the courthouse, offices and detention center. According to officials the proposed project would put the county level with current standards not being met with the existing complex, and would satisfy the needs of the taxpayers. County officials are preparing for a vote to be placed on the November ballot, and are looking for a quarter percent of gross receipts tax and approval to use the about $16 million in general obligation bonds for the project. If passed and completed, the expanded and remodeled complex would satisfy the needs of the county up to 2025.
San Bernardino County supervisors recently secured $100 million from the state for the expansion of Adelanto Detention Center in Adelanto, Calif. These funds came by way of county supervisors’ commitment to sell 20 acres near the Apple Valley Juvenile Detention Facility for the construction of a state prison re-entry facility. The combination of the new re-entry facility project and the project aimed at tripling the capacity of Adelanto Detention Center is expected over the next few years to bring Victor Valley hundreds of new construction and corrections jobs. Money from the state for the expansion project was made available through 2007’s AB 900 prison reform initiative, which is focused on the reduction of overcrowding and recidivism rates. In order to qualify for these funds, the bill requires that the county provide a re-entry facility.