The Hunt County Commissioners Court has received a proposal on a plan to possibly reopen the former Hunt County Juvenile Detention Center facility for adult inmates, although there are additional concerns with renovating the property in downtown Greenville.
Tuesday the commissioners voted to approve a proposal agreement for architectural services from Brinkley Sargent Wighton Architects.
“I was really happy with the proposal they gave us,” said County Judge Bobby Stovall.
The proposed agreement is in four steps, with a total study fee, if all four steps are completed, of $97,500.
The proposal was submitted by a committee appointed by the commissioners in May to help oversee the project to renovate the building at 2700 Johnson Street.
The committee is comprised of Stovall, Chief Sheriff’s Deputy Buddy Oxford and Chris Kilmer, Maintenance Director.
Stovall said the committee raised issues on the age of the structure and whether it can be adequately modernized to house inmates.
“As well as there are concerns as far as smoke evacuation from the building,” Stovall said.
The project will be reevaluated as each step in the process is completed to see if it can continue.
“We can stop at any time if we see it is not feasible,” Stovall said.
The former Juvenile Detention Center was closed three years ago.
The Hunt County Juvenile Board voted unanimously in favor of the decision in May, 2016 due to a lack of ongoing contracts for the facility.
Hunt County contracts to house juvenile offenders at facilities in adjacent or nearby counties.
The center housed juvenile offenders from Hunt County and other North Texas counties which had contracted with Hunt County for beds to detain their juveniles, with the funding included under the Juvenile Probation Department budget.
Several of the counties chose not to renew their contracts, and it was going to cost the county approximately $300,000 per year just to keep the center open to house fewer than a dozen juveniles a month.
The structure currently houses the Auxiliary Courtroom and the Hunt County Office of Homeland Security/Emergency Management.