Cost goes up on San Luis Obispo County juvenile hall expansion

20 more beds to be added to the facility

bmorem@thetribunenews.comApril 1, 2013 

The county Board of Supervisors will hear an update Tuesday on the planned Juvenile Services Center expansion project.

The expansion was originally proposed in 2008. The following year, the county Probation Department successfully secured $13.12 million in state funds for the Kansas Avenue facility, with the county adding another $3.12 million as part of state-funding stipulations.

However, due to various regulations that have been adopted by the state over the ensuing years with resultant delays in construction and other unforeseen costs, the county will have to add another $1.05 million to its share. That number may be reduced to $556,000 if funds for unexpected contingencies approved in 2008 are applied to the county’s new obligations.

If that’s the case, and there aren’t other detours on the way to construction, requests for bids to build can be received this fall.

With the state funds remaining static and in place, the project’s total costs have been revised to $18,539,815.

The 18,000-square-foot Juvenile Hall facility was built in 1980 and designed to house 45 youth in three units. Over the years, overcrowding has forced the county — at a cost — to place juveniles in youth homes through the Department of Social Services. The expansion of an additional 20 beds will reduce that need.

As planned, the facility will have three new structures, according to project manager Kathy MacNeill:

• A single-story, 8,586-square-foot building with the additional 20 sleeping rooms for high-security juveniles. The design also allows for two counseling/interview rooms and an outdoor recreation yard.

• A two-story, 9,824-square-foot building that will house classrooms, meeting rooms, medical support and staff offices.

• A 5,006-square-foot multipurpose facility for all-weather recreational needs.

In addition to improved housing, recreational and educational facilities, the expansion will allow for in-custody counseling and treatment for “habitual male juvenile offenders,” according to MacNeill’s staff report to supervisors.

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