LIMA — Allen County Commissioners unanimously approved Thursday a finalized design by K2M Design for a 24-bed, 20,303-square foot juvenile detention facility to be built on North Cole Street near the Allen County Sanitary Engineer’s Office.
The estimated cost for building the facility is $6,090,000, slightly over the targeted budget of $6 million. The Ohio Department of Youth Services had awarded the county a grant to cover 60 percent of construction costs up to a maximum total of $6 million, meaning it was important to keep that budget as close to that amount as possible, according to Commissioner Cory Noonan.
“That’s been our focus, on staying within that budget and also providing the efficiencies and upgrades that a new facility will provide to Allen County Juvenile Detention,” he said. “On our end, it’s the fiscal side. We have a number of projects and a defined budget that is limited for these capital needs and the structures. So that’s been the long discussion, keeping us within the budget and providing the facility that Juvenile Court is requesting.”
Allen County Juvenile Court Director Berlin Carroll was pleased with the final design, saying it will both provide a secure facility to ensure the safety of county residents while also working to help those young people who are sent there.
“It’s not compromising in any area,” he said. “It is a significant improvement over our current facility. It provides for both public safety and operations for court programming.”
While the original hope was to have a 32-bed facility, this design will help meet the need now while staying in budget, all without permanently closing the door to expansion.
“What makes this a good option is that they designed it in a way in which you can fairly easily expand and put those additional eight beds on if it’s determined that we do, in fact, need those,” he said. “For probably $750,000 to $1 million, it could easily be expanded.”
Carroll hopes to be able to go out for bids for construction early next year, with construction expected to begin in the spring and continue for 10 to 14 months.