CONNELL, Wash. — Coyote Ridge Correctional Center’s new Resource Activity Center, which was originally designed by Integrus Architecture to be a chapel, recently opened after receiving a Certificate of Occupancy in April 2015. Work to expand the correctional center originally began in July 2005 and included the addition of 2,048 new medium-security beds.
As it was initially designed to serve as a chapel, that particular portion of what is now the Resource Activity Center was not state funded. While project plans still allowed space for the chapel and even included the utility stubs for the new building, it could not be completed unless otherwise funded.
By the summer of 2007, most of the buildings that make up the 575,000-square-foot Coyote Ridge facility were under construction. Bill Dobyns, project manager for the joint venture of Hunt Construction of Phoenix and Lydig Construction of Spokane, Wash., observed the ongoing Resource Activity Center construction and asked about the chapel’s status.
Jack Olson, the project director, took it upon himself to find a way to construct the chapel, going to on-site designers and contractors, the surrounding community and churches across the state to get them involved.
Designers contributed their time and expertise and donated all of the required design documents. Contractors donated labor and materials to complete the shell of the 5,600-square-foot building and the community donated more than $25,000 towards completing the space.
When the Department of Corrections closed a nearby facility, Olson took an offender crew to salvage materials such as plumbing fixtures, lighting and doors. A local community college also used the project to teach inmates how to use insulation and drywall.
The project cost between $250 and $320 per square foot. This made the total cost of the center around $1.5 million, not including the saved cost from donations and volunteers.