Growing pains soon will subside for the Boone County Juvenile Justice Center.
The Boone County Commission on Thursday awarded Five Oaks Associates a $922,000 contract for expanding the center on Prathersville Road. The majority of the money will pay for additions to the center’s detention wing and classroom. The rest will cover the cost of expanding kitchen and storage areas.
Construction could begin as soon as next week and, according to the contract, should be done within 300 days.
The Juvenile Justice Center opened in January 1995. Now averaging 26 residents, it is over capacity.
“There has been a steady upward progression in admissions,” Kirk Kippley, superintendent of the center, said during a recent tour. Officials looked at trends eight to 10 years in the future while planning for the additions.
The center will be extended to the west with the addition of 12 detention beds for teenage boys, two showers and an expanded dayroom. There are only eight detention beds available for boys now; when those are full, the center has to use the four beds designated for girls.
More lockers and storage space will take over the carport south of the detention wing and eliminate the practice of packing all the residents’ clothing and possessions in a single small closet.
The center’s classroom will become larger as well.
“The youth are separated into junior high and senior high, but it’s like a big, one-room schoolhouse right now,” Court Administrator Bob Perry said. “The additional space will help them to not disrupt one another.”
Expansion of the kitchen will allow for a large freezer and more storage space for dry goods.