Construction Begins on Houston’s Joint Processing Center

HOUSTON — Construction on the $100 million Joint Processing Center in Houston officially began in late October, and is scheduled to last 24 months. Clark/Horizon, a joint venture between the Houston office of Clark Construction Group and Horizon Group International, is overseeing construction.

The three-story, 250,000-square-foot Joint Processing Center will help streamline city and county operations to eliminate duplicate processing efforts. It will also establish a new level of processing that focuses on directing identified detainees to outside community resources when appropriate. As such, the new facility will help reduce the local jail population as it separates those inmates who require specialized handling. It will also provide increased upfront medical and mental health screenings and space for short-term assessment of detainees entering or leaving the detention system.

"We are proud to deliver such an important social infrastructure project to the city and the county," said Jim Ansari, general manager for Clark Construction Group’s Texas region, in a statement. "This facility is on the leading edge of correctional design and philosophy and will make detainee processing much more efficient and effective.”

The Joint Processing Center will have temporary holding cells, medical facilities and cells, arraignment courtrooms, short-term inmate housing and operations areas for the County Sheriff and City Police departments. The construction team will also build a secure-zone tunnel system to connect the center to existing and future facilities.

Although the Clark/Horizon team is not contractually obligated, it plans to award center will also at least 15 percent of project contracts to small businesses. The team’s efforts are even honored with a 2015 Strategic Teaming Award from the Houston Minority Supplier Development Council.

"Our motivation for setting an internal goal to utilize MWSBE businesses is centered around building their capacity to help prepare them for bigger and better future endeavors," said Al Kashani of Horizon Group International in a statement. "We see this project as an opportunity to open doors for others in the same way that doors have been opened for us.”

The Joint Processing Center is designed to achieve LEED certification.