County officials and Judges have long talked about the need for a replacement facility like the planned 48,500 square foot building. Some buildings on the grounds of the current Genesee Valley Regional Center (GVRC) are nearly 100 years old and county officials agree the building is inefficient, expensive to operate and doesn’t meet the needs of the youth in the facility.
Judge John A. Gadola, Presiding Judge of the Family Division, is excited about what the facility means for the youth of Genesee County and the community. “The creation of the new Juvenile Justice Center has been a need in this County since my dad was a judge (Thomas L. Gadola). To have it finally be realistic is exciting for the court and the community. This means better outcomes for youth, improving public safety, while keeping youth close to home.”
In 2019, with the full commitment of the County Board of Commissioners and all Eleven (11) Circuit Court and Probate Court Judges, Redstone Architects, Inc., a Bloomfield Hills company, was given a green light to design the new facility. Redstone Architects, Inc. is handling the architectural design and engineering services for the $20-million building project.
Evidenced-based, trauma-informed, community-based services for court-involved youth have become the mission for the Genesee County Family Division, and funding priorities have been focused on this goal. As these services have been implemented, there was a need to design a building to address these goals. The architectural design of the facility looks more like a school or community center than a jail—and that’s by intention. The trauma-informed design offers ample natural light, softer colors, furnishings, and spaces that feel more like classrooms than detention. At the same time, the design offers clear lines of sight and layouts that allow for efficient use of staff resources and strong supervision, as well as enhanced security. “Redstone Architects is honored to work with Genesee County in designing its new, state-of-the-art evidence-based Juvenile Justice Center,” stated Daniel Redstone, FAIA, NCARB, Principal-in-Charge. “The facility’s design provides an environment that encourages mental and physical well-being in a secure environment and accommodates day-treatment, residential, and detention programs.”
On Aug. 26, 2020 a local construction company, E&L Construction of Flint, was awarded the construction contract, and on Sept. 16, 2020 Genesee County officials and judges broke ground at the site of the future Juvenile Justice Center on Pasadena Avenue in Flint Township. Once completed, the building will provide a secure detention program when necessary, an alternate detention program for youth who can be supervised in the community, day treatment services to include education, family-treatment, and vocational support; and a residential treatment program for youth who are in need of more intensive support.
The Juvenile Justice Center will be completed in January, 2023.