Juvenile center finally has everyone in right places

"Juvenile offenders share a peculiar bond with the staff at the brand new Kitsap County Juvenile Department facility.Although the youths are sitting in cells now, the staff once used the space for offices while the department’s regular office area was under construction.“The officers were in cells for a year,” said Harold Delia, director of the department. “They have a new empathy for being locked up in a cell.”Department staff members have moved into an office finished in modern colors and rich, wood tones. And young offenders are in uncrowded cells, with lots of other room for school, basketball, drug and alcohol counseling and anger-management programs.“This is more safe and secure for the kids and the staff,” Delia said. The high-tech security system is controlled by guards at a central console who unlock doors as people travel through the facility. The guards also watch several monitors to supervise activities throughout the facility.Project manager Robert Baglio, of BJC Group Inc., said the security features surpass the county’s adult jail in technology. Low-level electrical current keeps doors locked, and they are controlled by computerized touch screens.This project was more than two years in the making. Contractors started work on new cells in January 1997, completed phase one in July 1998 and moved juveniles into the north wing while employees moved their desks to cells in the south wing. Phase two started almost immediately afterward and was completed in July this year. The project included demolishing 3,000 square feet of the old building and remodeling the administrative offices. The total project cost $13.2 million, $200,000 below budget.“We utilized as much of the existing structure as we could,” Baglio said, including large portions of the administration building and even some wooden doors that were still in good condition. In two and a half years, the old 15,000-square-foot building on Old Clifton Road in Port Orchard, located a short drive from the county courthouse, was transformed into a 70,000-square-foot juvenile detention center with 102 beds where it once had only 22.A grand opening ceremony Oct. 29 from noon to 1:30 p.m. will formally celebrate the center’s completion. County Commissioner Charlotte Garrido, Kitsap County Superior Court Judge Leonard Kruse and members of the center’s citizens’ advisory committee are scheduled to attend the grand opening. The juvenile detention facility will be open to public tours, and cake and coffee will be served.“I hope a lot of people will come and see the facility,” Delia said. “They spent a lot of money on this facility and ought to see what they got.”"

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