San Luis Obispo to Debut Juvenile Hall Expansion

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — The current San Luis Obispo County Juvenile Hall can hold 45 minors, both male and female, but it lacks the adequate space for classrooms counseling areas and recreational areas. That’s why an expansion project is currently underway, adding new secure juvenile detention facilities that increase the existing facility’s capacity and provide improved youth programs and staff services.

Construction on the project broke ground on Oct. 29, 2014 and is scheduled for completion on June 30, 2016. The owner will move in and make it operational by August or September of this year. The project is being funded jointly by the county of San Luis Obispo and the California State (SB) 81 Local Youthful Offender Rehabilitative Facility Financing Program. The state is paying for about $13 million of the nearly $20 million project. The design efforts are being led by Santa Maria, Calif.-based Ravatt, Albrecht and Associates Inc., with the local offices of HDR as the design associate firm. Diani Construction, also with offices in Santa Maria, is heading construction.

Located on approximately two acres of county-owned land, the juvenile hall expansion will comprise three new buildings and an exterior, covered walkway providing approximately 22,800 square feet of additional new housing, a recreation yard, classrooms, mental health treatment rooms and offices, training/conference rooms, indoor multi-purpose/recreation and administrative/teachers office space, according to Paul Reinhardt, AIA, LEED AP, A/E project manager for Ravatt, Albrecht & Associates Inc.

The new juvenile hall secure housing facility will be a single-story building with approximately 7,920 square feet of living space and 20 single-occupancy detention sleeping rooms, Reinhardt added. This new housing wing will also include a large dayroom to be used for dining and activities, along with individual, single-use shower rooms, two counseling interview rooms and a staff direct supervision area. Adjacent to this housing facility will be a new, approximately 6,800-square-foot outdoor recreation yard.

The approximately 9,824-square-foot academics/administration building will be two stories, and will contain administration and staff support areas, classrooms, group treatment areas, counseling rooms and mental health offices. A single-story, 5,000-square-foot, multipurpose/recreation facility will also be accessible from the other buildings via an exterior covered walkway and will serve as a multipurpose gymnasium that will allow daily indoor physical activities during clear or inclement weather.

“One key design element is the organization of the new expansion, which provides a simple, clear or secure circulation route from the existing facility to the various areas of the new expansion,” Reinhardt said.

He added that other key elements include the new prominent concrete masonry structural systems, which are aesthetically distinct from the existing wood-framed stucco facility with the benefit of greater security and durability and lower maintenance and operations. A complete new Security Electronics System with touchscreen controls is also being included in the expansion and provides a way for the staff to easily and safely operate, monitor and control the new expanded environment.

Although the juvenile hall facility expansion does not require LEED certification, it will follow LEED Silver guidelines to incorporate sustainable design strategies, according to Reinhardt. Those strategies include using an existing building site, incorporating energy-efficient HVAC systems and lighting, low-water-use plumbing in the staff areas, installing a “cool” roof, extensive use of skylights for daylighting, stormwater management to protect the adjacent riparian habitat and water-efficient landscaped areas.

More information on this project will be featured in the upcoming July/August issue of Correctional News.