Baltimore City Detention Center demolition cost estimated at $27.5 million

The Baltimore Sun

Maryland officials are looking to move forward with a $27.5 million plan to demolish nearly 40 structures that make up a swath of the closed Baltimore City Detention Center.

Maryland’s Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services is asking for approval to demolish 16 major structures and 23 minor structures, according to a state Board of Public Works agenda for June 19. Some buildings were also part of the Metropolitan Transition Center, formerly known as the Maryland Penitentiary, the agenda states.

The agenda does not specify which buildings are slated for demolition, but states that correctional officials reached an agreement with the Maryland Historic Trust over which structures would be preserved. Some buildings, such as the castle-like Baltimore City Jail, date to the mid-19th century.

Maryland Historic Trust officials were not available Tuesday for comment.

Gov. Larry Hogan abruptly closed the detention center in 2015, amid complaints of corruption and violence in the facility.

The Republican governor hopes to put a mental health and substance abuse treatment center for inmates in its place in an effort to combat the state’s opioid addiction epidemic. Hogan sits on the Board of Public Works, along with Comptroller Peter Franchot and Treasurer Nancy Kopp, both Democrats.

If the board approves the proposal, demolition is slated to be awarded to Parkton-based Towson Mechanical Inc. for the cost of about $27.5 million.

The demolition is expected to take about a year and a half to complete and would include the removal of numerous underground utilities and replacement of program space structures, fences and security electronics, according to information submitted to the city, the agenda states.

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