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Tulsa lawmaker wants juvenile center torn down if it closes

BY JULIE BISBEE Modified: December 1, 2010 at 4:03 pm •  Published: January 3, 2010
A Tulsa Democrat wants to make sure Sand Springs isn’t saddled with another empty state-owned building if officials should decide to close the state’s maximum-security juvenile facility there.

Rep. Lucky Lamons is proposing legislation that would require the state to tear down the L.E. Rader Center if it is closed. Lamons is also proposing legislation that would prevent teachers who teach at Rader from being spread among Sand Springs School District sites.

While there are no firm plans to close the L.E. Rader Center, officials at the Office of Juvenile Affairs have said the aging facility is the most expensive to operate and it would be on the top of the list for closing.

Agency officials are also seeking bids for the management of a medium- to maximum-security juvenile facility.

Lamons said the legislation is necessary to ensure that Sand Springs doesn’t have yet another vacant state building.

"They don’t need to be haunted by another building,” Lamons said.

"How welcoming is it to have what looks like an abandoned prison?”

Sand Springs is also home to the Hissom Memorial Center, which treated developmentally disabled children until the center was closed in 1987 after parents sued over the care of their children.