Lafayette businesses chosen to finance, design, build new parish jail, juvenile detention home

Nov 18, 2022

A development team of four local businesses has been selected for a public-private partnership with Lafayette Consolidated Government to build a new jail and juvenile detention home.

The goal is to build a new parish jail, moving it out of downtown Lafayette, without having to increase taxes to pay for construction. The likely location will be in the 1800 block of West Willow Street, where parish officials are negotiating to buy two pieces of property near an existing Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office facility.

Some residents objected to the proposed site because of its location near a school and homes.

The five-story Lafayette Parish Correctional Center on Main and Lafayette streets downtown was built in 1985 to hold about 300 inmates but was renovated to house about 600. The parish has spent millions of dollars on repairs, including plumbing and replacing elevators. It is funded with a tax approved when the parish jail was only two floors.

The Parish Council in July gave Mayor-President Josh Guillory preliminary approval to proceed with one or more public-private agreements and make applications to the State Bond Commission.

In August, LCG issued a request for qualifications for a public-private partnership development team for design, build, finance and maintenance services for a new Lafayette Parish correctional center and juvenile detention home.

At Tuesday's Parish Council meeting, Guillory announced the team selected: Johnson Controls, The Lemoine Company, ADG Engineering and GHC Architects.

Johnson Controls is the head of the team, responsible for pulling financing together. The group will begin designing the jail and preparing a cost estimate. If it's too high the parish can pull out of the project. There's no cost estimate at this time.

If the parish agrees to proceed, the development team will finance the construction. LCG would lease the building for up to 40 years, according to the request for proposals, with the developer maintaining the building throughout the lease. The developers would lease the land from LCG.

A cooperative endeavor agreement negotiated between LCG and the developer for the design, finance, construction and maintenance services requires approval by the parish council as does the contract.

The new Lafayette Parish Correctional Center is expected to accommodate at least 1,000 beds to house pre- and post-conviction inmates.

The proposed site is about 16 acres on West Willow Street bordered by Raggio Road, North Pat Street and Hebert Road. In December, the parish council appropriate $750,000 to buy the land.

The new Juvenile Detention Home will include about 60-72 beds. It will be constructed on a 20-acre site between West Willow Street, Hebert Road, Bowers Road and Aster Drive that LCG already owns.

Guillory said Tuesday if all goes according to plan, construction may be completed by early 2026.