Saturday, December 01, 2007

Building plans at prison sites topic of Vacaville forum

Building plans at prison sites topic of forum
By Danny Bernardini/Staff Writer
Article Launched: 11/29/2007 06:09:09 AM PST

Proposed construction of two buildings at Vacaville's two state prison sites will be discussed Friday at a special public forum.
Before starting work on environmental studies and documents for the two buildings, the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation wants to hear residents' concerns and questions.

Friday's meeting, set for 1 p.m. in the Vacaville City Council Chamber, 650 Merchant St., will focus on issues citizens and public agencies would like considered before environmental impact reports begin on the projects proposed to be built within the boundaries of California State Prison, Solano, and the California Medical Facility in Vacaville.

Construction would include a 64-bed intermediate care facility at CMF and a 100-bed administrative segregation unit at CSP Solano. The intermediate care facility, a 50,962-square-foot building, would be built in an abandoned orchard on the northwest corner of CMF property.

The segregation unit would be a 27,550-square-foot building constructed within CSP Solano's existing secure perimeter.

The construction proposal comes while the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation tries to deal with bed shortages in prisons statewide. Because of overcrowding, facilities are becoming difficult to administer and are unable to offer sufficient medical attention, according to the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Currently, both prisons face overcrowding and CSP Solano is housing prisoners in alternate locations, such as gymnasiums and day rooms. The proposed intermediate care facility at CMF would include two small outdoor recreation yards and two group yards totaling 8,400 square feet. To allow for this, the fence line around CMF will need to be extended 11 acres.

The care facility fence line would include two additional guard towers, each 34 feet tall, and a vehicle gate along the north or south fence line.

For the proposed building at CSP Solano, no extension of fencing would be needed, but an evaluation of the project's water and wastewater impacts would be necessary.

Some of the potential impacts of the construction include the following:

• Agriculture resources - The issue will be looked at because the proposal calls for construction in an orchard.

• Visual resources, light and glare - Site lighting may cause impacts.

• Biological resources - Because the facility uses an electric fence, the issue of animals being injured must be evaluated.

• Noise - Any construction noise will be examined.

• Traffic - A traffic study will be conducted.

Danny Bernardini can be reached at

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