County breaks ground on youth facility

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 5, 1999

It may have taken 25 years to get there, but city and county officials were glad to finally break ground on the new juvenile justice facility Monday morning.It was in 1974 that states were first required to house juvenile inmates separately from adults, said Virginia Salmon, president of the Adams County board of supervisors.It was in the summer of 1993 that the Adams County Board of Supervisors and the Natchez Board of Aldermen first developed a plan for a juvenile justice center.In April 1996, supervisors selected the site at the corner of State and Pearl streets downtown, property donated for the center by the City of Natchez.Finally, in the summer of 1999, the award for the construction of the facility was awarded to Harold West Contractors of Laurel.”Today is a great day for juvenile justice in Adams County,” said Judge John Hudson of Adams County Youth Court. “We thank the people of Adams County and the state of Mississippi for their forbearance with us to get not just a patchwork solution but what will serve us into the next century.”Hudson said he hoped that the new juvenile justice facility will help “redirect lives” in more positive directions.Other officials on hand for the ground breaking included Natchez Mayor Larry L. “Butch” Brown; Natchez Police Chief Willie Huff; architect Charles Moroney; supervisors Thomas “Boo” Campbell, Rose Wallace, Sammy Cauthen, and Darryl Grennell; Natchez-Adams County School District Superintendent Carl Davis; county attorney Marion Smith; county administrator Charlie Brown; and Danny West and Jerry Wallace of Harold West Contractors.Amelia Salmon, project architect for the juvenile justice facility, said Harold West Contractors have begun to prepare the site for construction.”They’ve moved a job trailer onto the site and have fenced the area,” she said.The first phase of the $2.7 million project is excavation of the site and preparation of the foundation. Work crews will operate Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., with some work days extending to 5 p.m.The 14-month construction time line should place the completion of the facility in September 2000.

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