Minnehaha County commissioners give final go-ahead for new regional Juvenile Justice Center

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Plans for a new Juvenile Detention Center in Sioux Falls. The Minnehaha County Commission approved spending $50 million to replace the existing facility on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023.


A new regional Juvenile Justice Center, with construction to begin in April, received final approval by the Minnehaha County Commission on Tuesday, Jan. 2.

The facility will be expanded from 46 beds at the current facility to 64 and could meet demands over the next 20 years.

The price tag for construction will be $42.5 million with another $7.5 million for equipment, design work, furnishings and other needs putting the top guaranteed price at $50 million.

The structure in southern Sioux Falls at 4200 S. West Avenue would replace an aging facility first built in 1969 with two remodelings and expansions since. The last was in 1997.

The first phase of the project will include new housing, intake, medical, kitchen and mechanical areas. A pod-type arrangement for juvenile beds is expected to help improve safety for the young people and the staff.

The old building will then be torn down and the second phase would start in August of 2025 and would involve the courtroom and probation part of the project.

That would free up more space in the current county courthouse in downtown Sioux Falls. That phase would also last just over a year and be completed by November of 2026.

Commissioner Jean Bender said it’s been multiple years of discussion and planning with work on the design phase now completed since final approval of financing through bonding for the project last winter.

“It’s going to be a game changer for the juvenile justice system,” Bender said.

The facility serves 15 counties and charges a daily rate for juveniles from other counties.

It was previously noted that for a $300,000 home the extra annual cost for the project over 20 years would be $50. The county had been hoping for help from the state legislature to finance the project which is still possible.

Bender said the project was on budget. View the story on Sioux Falls Live.