Youthful Offender and Vocational Training Addition to Jail North
A groundbreaking ceremony was held on November 14 for the Mecklenburg County Youthful Offender and Vocational Training Addition to Jail North. The project includes the addition of a 34,830-square-foot, 108-bed youthful offender housing unit. The housing unit is divided into nine, twelve-bed pods, each with a dayroom, dining area, shower facility and covered outdoor exercise area. The addition also includes supervisory, case coordinator and administrative areas for the program operators.
This project was designed using sustainable design practices, and the housing unit is registered for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. Included is a separate 8,330-square-foot vocational training building featuring carpentry and masonry training shops along with tool storage, toilets, classroom and administrative areas. A separate 3,360-square-foot greenhouse building is also a part of the project. The greenhouse includes an irrigation system, tool storage and toilet facilities. The project is scheduled for completion in February of 2009.
Park Master Plan Update
Our parks master plan consultant, Leon Younger, continues to compile the input received from the public workshops, focus groups, key leadership interviews and a survey mailed in November 2007. Younger will develop findings and key recommendations from this input and additional information gathered on best practices in park master planning. The following schedule identifies the dates for the remaining key milestones in our park master planning process:
- Greenway Plan
- Nature Preserve Plan
- Program Plan
- January 7 –
Update to the Charlotte City Council on preliminary findings and key recommendations from mail survey sent out randomly to households and businesses in Mecklenburg County.
- Sports and Tourism
- A two-day work session will be held to present findings and recommendations from the survey to and receive input from County park and recreation staff, the Park and Recreation Commission, representatives from the Mecklenburg towns, and other agencies, including Storm Water and Real Estate Services.
- February 25, 26, 27 – Public workshops will be held to provide the public an overview of findings and recommendations from the survey.
- Green Printing (Land Acquisition) and Capital Improvement Plan
- Meetings with the town boards will be scheduled for the presentation of findings and recommendations from the survey.
- The consultant will submit a major draft of the final plan to Park and Recreation on March 21, 2008.
- Staff will review and provide comments to the consultant on March 29.
- A final draft will be delivered to the Park and Recreation Department by April 4, 2008.
- April 15, 2008 – The final plan will be presented to the Board for approval.
- Presentation of Board-approved master plan to the Citizens Capital Budget Advisory Board.
Consolidation Aimed at Service Improvements at Parks
The Park Operations & Athletic Services Division will transition into a new look in early 2008. A new manager, P.J. Hamilton, has been hired to oversee park watch services and will begin employment with Mecklenburg County on December 5. This will consolidate all the park watch coordinators into one unit to ensure more consistent park watch services throughout the County park system. The new park watch unit will also emphasize customer service through visibility and interaction with customers. This approach will provide better management to coordinate off-duty and on-duty requests with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department to enhance the safety in our parks.
Another change in early 2008 will be a new athletic section. All 10 of the current athletic coordinators will be consolidated into an athletic section, as opposed to being tied to a specific district. Athletic services are a county-wide function that will be better served as a centralized unit. The new athletic section will look at streamlining the field reservation process, better field utilization rates and increased programming opportunities.
- Harry L. Jones, Sr., County Manager