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Maryland juvenile detention center nears completion

August 13, 2002|by KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI

kimy@herald-mail.com

The 24-bed Western Maryland Detention Center for juveniles on Roxbury Road is nearing completion, according to state officials.

The general contractor, Baltimore-based Whiting-Turner, broke ground on the $7.3 million juvenile facility in July 2001, said Dave Humphrey, spokesman for the Maryland Department of General Services.

"There should be substantial completion by the end of this month," he said.

Over the next few weeks, workers will do "finishing touches," like painting and landscaping, Humphrey said.

"Things seem to be moving fairly well," he said.

The new detention center will replace an existing eight-bed facility in Hagerstown. The old holdover facility at 201 Jonathan St. most likely will be sold, according to county officials.

About 30 people will work at the juvenile detention center, which is near the prison complex south of Hagerstown.

The approximately 28,000-square-foot facility will have intake, assessment, dietary and administrative space, as well as a fenced outdoor recreation space, said Lee Towers, spokesman for the Maryland State Department of Juvenile Justice.

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When the contractors are finished, detention center employees will spend 30 to 60 days performing a "shakedown" of the facility, Towers said.

During a shakedown, employees learn the layout of the building and systems are checked to make sure everything is operating properly, Towers said.

"We don't want to wait until something happens" to learn how things work, he said.

Boys and girls from Washington, Garrett and Allegany counties who have been arrested and are ordered to be placed in detention while they await adjudication would be taken to the facility, Towers said.

It also would house juveniles who otherwise would be sent to the Alfred D. Noyes Center in Rockville, Md., which is a long drive for family members who live in Western Maryland, he said.

One of the reasons for building the juvenile facility is to keep detained juveniles closer to their families and to where they are to appear in court, Towers said.

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