CDCR Chooses R.J. Donovan Facility Project Team

OTAY MESA, Calif. — The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) recently chose Tempe, Ariz.-headquartered Sundt Construction and joint-venture partner Layton Construction, with offices in Phoenix, as the design-build contractor for the new housing facility at Richard J. Donovan Correctional Complex located near San Diego.
With Phoenix-based Arrington Watkins Architects serving as the architect, the team will work together to design and construct the new 317,000-square-foot housing facility. The $169 million construction project will include three Level II 264-bed housing units for a total of 792 inmates. In addition to these housing units, the project will include programming, health care, visitation and other support functions.
This project is a result of the 2011 state law requiring California counties to reduce the prison population by housing inmates who are non-violent and who have committed less serious offenses in local facilities. A restructuring of the classification system for inmates is resulting in a shift in the number of Level II and III inmates as well.
The pending closure of the dilapidated California Rehabilitation Center (CRC) also contributes to the growing need for more Level II inmate beds as those prisoners are transferred to other facilities. This project will increase the total number of Level II inmate beds in California by 2,376. The cost of building a double housing facility will be $533,792, while a single facility will cost $276,208.
“We’re expecting to have 7,000 inmates move from Level III to Level II. We need more beds,” said Dana Simas, information officer at CDCR.
The R.J. Donovan housing facility is one of the three dormitory facilities approved in June 2012 as part of Senate Bill 1022, which authorized the CDCR to design and construct three dormitory facilities adjacent to specified institutions that would house Level II prisoners.
Another perk to the project will be the addition of hundreds of new jobs. A double facility is expected to add 375 additional staff members, and a single facility will add 190. Simas said that the CDCR doesn’t anticipate facing any challenges with the future construction work yet, but did cite factors such as traffic, sewage and environmental elements as potential conflicts in the construction process.
Sundt Layton will begin construction on the project in 2015.