Work on $5 million Juvenile Justice Center to begin soon
BY SUSAN HYLTON World Staff Writer
Monday, November 26, 2012
11/26/12 at 7:56 AM
BRISTOW - Construction is expected to start early next year on a 16-bed Juvenile Justice Center that is hoped to more efficiently address underage crime in Creek County.
The $5 million facility is being built south of Bristow, at the intersection of Oklahoma 48 (Chestnut Street) and East Durango Street, and is being funded through a one-third-cent sales tax initiative that also funded the renovation of the courthouse and other county buildings in Sapulpa, the county seat.
One-sixth of the penny will go toward the ongoing maintenance and operation of the Juvenile Justice Center.
County Commissioner Newt Stephens said that the county currently transports juveniles to a detention facility operated by the Sac and Fox Nation in Stroud about 40 miles away.
Now the county will have its own facility, which will reduce deputies' time on the road transporting juveniles back and forth to court appearances.
"I think we're going to be better served and better protected," Stephens said.
Assistant District Attorney Laura Farris said that it will also ensure that juvenile issues are addressed promptly. The facility in Stroud doesn't always have beds available for juveniles, and officers often have to return them to their parents.
"We think as a result they will be more likely to intercede with juveniles immediately. We're hopeful we will see a big reduction in juvenile crime," she said.
Stephens said the price tag is quite large to build a facility that detains juveniles according to federal and state requirements. But Stephens said county officials want the building to last.
"We're building ours pretty solid. We're going with solid walls, not Sheetrock," he said. "If we're going to do it, we're going to do it right."
The new facility will also generate some income by being able to contract with other entities searching for an empty detention bed.
Bristow is centrally located in the county. It's also a site where the county already owned most of the land where the facility will be constructed.
The county Public Facilities Authority will oversee the operation which will be staffed by the Sheriff's Office, Stephens said.
D.C. Bass & Sons Construction Co. is the general contractor.
Stephens said that all contracts, except the dirt work, have been awarded.
Bids for the dirt work are expected the first of December.
Original Print Headline: Juvenile center to be built
Susan Hylton 918-581-8381