Two years ago, Granger Construction began the expansion and renovation of the Kent County Juvenile Detention Center on Cedar Street in Grand Rapids. Granger Construction started with a 45,000 square foot addition, with DLZ Michigan serving as the architect and design team on the project. Renovations continue on the administration and admissions areas of the building, and the existing Alpha, Bravo, and Charlie wings that previously housed juvenile residents will be demolished. This phase of the project also includes a new and updated front entry that ties into the new addition’s exterior façade, slated to be completed in June 2019. The new facility is designed for current best practices for juvenile detention and will help improve services and the lives of troubled youths and struggling families.
The 72-bed new addition was constructed adjacent to an occupied detention facility and required extensive in-depth planning and coordination among Granger, the subcontractors, and Kent County to ensure both safety and security. The biggest challenge of this project was maintaining the existing operations, which required constant communication with the owner and building staff to ensure a secure facility. Replacement of the entire security and electronics system in the existing wing of the facility required significant planning. Granger converted all existing cameras, door controls, and intercoms from the old system to the new system on an individual basis, which required work to take place during the night shift.
Once the addition was complete, relocation of juvenile residents took place, and renovation of the housing areas and support spaces began. By utilizing sound-absorbing structural masonry block units within the day rooms and gymnasium, the Granger Construction team sought to mitigate excessive background noise that is typical within these areas. Acoustical masonry blocks use an innovative grid pattern to disperse the sound path and sound absorbing fibrous fillers to dramatically reduce noise or echo in a room. Traditionally, acoustical panels are used to mitigate this type of noise, and by using the masonry blocks, they were able to eliminate this step in the construction process, saving both time and money.
While this project is not targeted for LEED certification, Kent County’s expectation and requirement per the RFP was that the project utilize LEED practices and principles. Granger Construction and DLZ Michigan calculated the energy consumption for the new mechanical and electrical equipment being used for the project and determined that it was eligible for a rebate for installing energy efficient systems during new construction or major renovations. LED lighting and high-efficiency boilers and domestic water heaters were also used to enhance the environmental sustainability of the facility.