City officials in Clinton said they’re interested in helping the Office of Juvenile Affairs build a new maximum-security juvenile facility. OJA is expected to issue a request for proposal for construction of a new facility, as well as management of a new facility, in the next few months. For the city of Clinton, a juvenile facility could mean up to 150 state jobs, said Grayson Bottom, Clinton city manager.
"The value of the jobs and economic impact of such a project is very attractive,” Bottom said. Last week, the Clinton City Council approved a resolution supporting efforts to land a juvenile facility in the area. Clinton’s plan would include revenue bonds issued by the city’s industrial authority to pay for construction. Bottom said the authority could issue up to $30 million for construction. "All we’re doing is raising our hand and saying we’re interested at this point,” Bottom said. Gene Christian, OJA executive director, said several communities across the state have expressed interest in getting a juvenile facility. The facility would likely replace Sand Springs’ L.E. Rader Center, which is older and not conducive to effectively monitoring youth and staff, Christian said. The specifications for a new facility will be finalized in the next few months, he said. JULIE BISBEE, CAPITOL BUREAU