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Shovels ready for new juvenile detention facility

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

A juvenile detention center on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway has been demolished to make way for the new home of the Barnes Foundation’s multibillion-dollar art collection. The replacement juvenile detention center will be in West Philadelphia.


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Mayor Nutter is promising a “state of the art building” about twice the size of the former site. The new detention center will have 150 beds and outdoor recreation facilities.

Nutter: This is not a jail, this is not a prison. It’s a place where kids who need help get back on track. It’s a way station if you will to help kids get what they need.

Youth Study Center in final stages of demolition. Photo by Masashi Hanada for WHYY.org.

Nutter says discussions about moving the detention center began decades ago. It gained momentum once plans to move the Barnes Foundation solidified.

The city moved the kids to a temporary site in East Falls last September. The Youth Study Center houses teens between the ages of 13 and 17, some who have been adjudicated, and some who are awaiting court action. The new facility is expected to be finished in early 2011.

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