SALINAS, Calif. - The Monterey County Juvenile Hall is one of the oldest facilities of its kind in California, and signs of age are obvious.
"Throughout the years we've been having a lot of plumbing, electrical problems with the existing facility," said Jose Ramirez, probation division director for the facility. "We find ways to overcome that, but it's just ongoing, nonstop issues that we have."
After more than a decade of planning, on Friday, it came to fruition. Local dignitaries broke ground on the $59 million project to renovate the aging Monterey County Juvenile Hall on Natividad Road in Salinas.
"The new facility has a campus design," said Marcia Parsons, chief probation officer. "It has four living units in a campus area with a focus on the educational center. It's going to be very modern in design, very homey, campus like rather than this long, linear institution."
The existing facility was designed to house kids who were truant or runaways, but officials say they are seeing more younger criminals.
Construction is expected to be completed in 2019.
While this construction is going on another construction project is on the horizon. Later this summer the Monterey County Jail is breaking ground on an expansion project. Plans include adding more than 570 beds and space for programs and services to help reduce recidivism.
"The trend in corrections across the country is going towards a therapeutic model, rehabilitation," Capt. Jim Bass said. "There's been an increase in inmates with mental illness, trying to provide programming and services not only while they're in custody but when they're out."
Construction for that project is expected to be completed in 2019 also.