Sunday, May 13, 2018 | by Randy Ellis
The Oklahoma Board of Juvenile Affairs has approved $2.65 million in new contracts as it moves forward with plans to build a consolidated next-generation campus for juvenile offenders at the site of its current campus in Tecumseh.
Oklahoma currently operates secure detention facilities for male youthful offenders in Tecumseh and Manitou, and for female youthful offenders in Norman.
In 2017, the Oklahoma Legislature voted to authorize the issuance of up to $45 million in bonds to help the agency consolidate all those operations in an updated facility in Tecumseh. The agency will put some additional money that it has saved through efficiencies into the project, said Kevin Clagg, deputy director of finance and administration.
The entire project is expected to take about three years to complete and cost about $47.65 million, not counting bond interest, officials said. The bonds will be paid off over 25 years.
Plans are to build nine cottages with a total of 144 beds that will provide new living quarters for all the residents. The agency has the flexibility to scale back the project if the number of juveniles coming into the system continues to decline as it has in recent years.
The project will include additional new construction, while some existing buildings, like the gymnasium, will continue to be used, Clagg said.
The project is expected to be completed in June 2021.
The Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs plans to consolidate its detention facilities for juvenile offenders in a next-generation campus to be constructed on the site of the current Central Oklahoma Juvenile Center in Tecumseh. This conceptual rendering shows how the new campus might look. [DLR Group]