Image: Woodland Hills Youth Development Center Image Credit: Google Maps
The Center Square [By Jon Styf] –
The Tennessee Department of Children’s Services is set to receive $107 million in additional funding after the State Building Commission approved funds to design the new Woodland Hills and John S. Wilder youth development centers, as well as renovations and construction of assessment and intake facilities.
The design of the two facilities will cost $19 million with the project increases the state’s bed capacity by 150. The Somerville facility will have 72 beds with the chance of future expansion to 96. The Wilder facility will have 24 beds and the chance to expand to 48. Woodland Hills will have 72 beds with the chance to expand to 96.
“Today is the culmination of almost a year’s worth of work by Governor Bill Lee, members of the General Assembly and DCS leadership. Together, we are forging a new path and reimagining possibilities for Tennessee’s children in need,” DCS Commissioner Margie Quin said in a statement. “This real estate plan will expedite the process of finding children their forever homes and create a home base for DCS staff for the very first time through the new intake and assessment facilities.”
Another $88 million will go to the conversion and construction of intake facilities and assessment centers with a total of nine across the state.
Each assessment center will have 16 beds to house children for up to 30 days. Intake facilities will have 12 beds for “short-term transitional stays.”
The goal of the project is to increase the options for children entering the system.
About the Author: Jon Styf, The Center Square Staff Reporter – Jon Styf is an award-winning editor and reporter who has worked in Illinois, Texas, Wisconsin, Florida and Michigan in local newsrooms over the past 20 years, working for Shaw Media, Hearst and several other companies. Follow Jon on Twitter @JonStyf.