EL CENTRO -Â While currently remaining under budget, the Oren R. Fox Medium Security Detention Facility is on track for an anticipated completion date of December 1, 2017.Â In 2011, the state of California granted Imperial County funds to support the new detention facility and since then, it has been a work in progress. The facility has been named in honor of retired longtime Imperial County Sheriff Oren R. Fox.
Chief Deputy of Corrections, Jamie Clayton, said she did not expect to personally experience opening a new facility during her career, but was excited for the opportunity.
â€œBringing our vision to workable floor plans with the architect requires a lot of attention to detail,” said Clayton, explaining the logistics to open this facility. “Our team has not only been busy with construction and planning activities, but writing policies and scenarios on how the building will operate.â€
According to reports from the Imperial County Sheriffâ€™s Office, the project was set for an original budget of $35.4 million, of which $1.4 million was set for unforeseen contingencies. To date, approximately $22 million dollars has been used, but none of the contingency money.
â€œThe contingency funds are a necessary part of creating the budget to build,” said Clayton. “The funds are designed to address (pay for) unforeseen circumstances. We hope to come in under budget, but have the contingency monies still intact in case there are things we overlooked as we proceed through construction into occupancy.â€
The Oren R. Fox Medium Security Detention Facility is under constructed near the Imperial County Jail and will benefit the community in several ways, according to officials.
Clayton said, â€œThis building will accomplish a lot for our community.Â 1) It is brand new space for our staff to work in. 2) It is energy efficient, built to last for at least 30 years and built with lease revenue bonds, and 3) it is designed with Governor Brownâ€™s prisoner realignment in mind. Meaning, offenders will be provided an opportunity to program while incarcerated.â€
Clayton said they hope to remain under budget and on schedule with the new detention facility.