McCarthy recently topped out on the new $63.5 million Dallas County Detention Center South Tower. Upon completion in winter 2009, this 335,000-square-foot, Level 3 dormitory-style detention center addition will serve as a replacement for two older facilities that will be retired.
“Dallas County is delighted to have McCarthy on board for this project. It’s a large project that needs to be completed on time and McCarthy has gotten off to a great start,” said Dan Savage, Dallas County assistant administrator for operations.
“The new four-story, South Tower will connect to the existing Lew Sterrett West Tower,” explained McCarthy Project Director James Leppo. “Our focus throughout this project will be to minimize disruption to the existing facility during the construction. The project has many challenging aspects and McCarthy is excited about building this facility for the residents of Dallas County. The facility will be constructed according to regulations set forth by the Texas Commission on Jail Standards and will include special materials and security features such as heavy duty electronic doors that can be remotely secured.”
A portion of the new building is key-shaped and is designed to fit into and completely fill an open area in existing buildings. After completion of the new building, doors on each level will be cut between the new and existing building.
Comprised of a concrete frame with brick exterior, the new facility will require 50,000 cubic yards of total concrete, with over 23,000 cubic yards of that below grade in the piers. There are 550,000 blocks of concrete masonry unit (CMU) on the exterior of the building. With its location adjacent to the Trinity River basin and above a decades-old landfill, the South Tower’s construction requires drilling 285 cased piers to unusual depths, some reaching 160 feet deep.
The project’s key challenges relate to the underground construction. Complex tunnels are being built to facilitate transport of prisoners from the sally port, or receiving area, to the secure facility via elevators. Other challenges include building an underground elevator and a single level parking garage which will provide additional parking for up to 27 law enforcement vehicles.
Founded in 1864, McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. is one of the nation’s oldest and largest privately held construction firms. The company provides general contracting, construction management, program management and design/build services for correctional, healthcare, education, parking, entertainment, retail, laboratory, biotechnical, microelectronic, and industrial facilities; office buildings; tenant interiors; mixed-use; and bridges and highways. McCarthy is 100 percent employee owned. More information about the company is available online at www.mccarthy.com.