Groundbreaking held at juvenile justice center site


Ground was broken yesterday for the $41 million Baltimore City Juvenile Justice Center, which will house courtrooms, offices, social services, and intake and detention facilities for young offenders when it opens in two years.

Gov. Parris N. Glendening and Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend were among the state and local officials attending the ceremonial groundbreaking on a 5-acre site -- the former home of a Hillen Tire outlet, south of Old Town Mall -- bounded by North Gay, Hillen, Front and Exeter streets.

The 240,700-square-foot center, which has been in the works for nearly a decade, will replace the overcrowded, antiquated juvenile facilities in the Clarence M. Mitchell Jr. Courthouse.

It also will relieve city police of the expense of taking suspects to Cheltenham Youth Facility in southern Prince George's County, necessary because Baltimore has no juvenile detention beds. The new center will have a 144-bed detention facility.

The facility is considered the centerpiece of the redevelopment of East Baltimore's Gay Street corridor and will employee 650 people when it opens in 2001. Construction is scheduled to be completed in the spring of 2001, and the facility will begin admitting juvenile offenders that fall, officials of the state Department of Juvenile Justice said.

Pub Date: 7/11/99

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