Supervisors approve conversion of former juvenile hall to mental health center

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RIVERSIDE (CNS) – Riverside County supervisors Tuesday, Oct. 20 signed off on the conversion of the former Riverside Juvenile Hall into a county-run mental health treatment facility, using federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief & Economic Security Act funds to cover costs.
In a 5-0 vote without comment, the Board of Supervisors authorized the Department of Facilities Management to proceed with all plans for the “JH COVID-19 Housing Conversion Project.”
The project budget is $4.37 million, and according to documents posted to the board’s agenda, the county intends to tap the nearly $500 million in CARES money allotted or designated for county coffers to meet expenses.
Riverside Juvenile Hall was shuttered earlier this year, and the youth detainees were moved to an alternate location. Since then, several units within the building at 3933 Harrison St. have already been configured into a mental health rehab, operated by the Riverside University Health System.
The Department of Facilities Management and RUHS want to improve the confines to expand in-patient treatment center space. The justification for using CARES money is based on anticipation of having isolation units to house individuals who test positive for the coronavirus, according to agency documents.
The improvements planned under the board-approved conversion, overseen by Pasadena-based ACCO Engineered Systems Inc., include new flooring, installation of emergency power generators, replacement of anti-fire systems and some additions to the structure, the documents stated.
There was no date listed for project completion.