Completion of Camp Scott could take 50-60 months, per subcommittee

Sign on Bouquet Canyon Road for Camp Scudder and Camp Scott. 062421. Dan Watson/The Signal

The subcommittee in charge of the decision on whether to repurpose Camp Scott on Bouquet Canyon Road has asked to hear about another option for a potential future site to house the county’s most serious male youth offenders after they had been told the project would take multiple years to complete.  

According to a presentation delivered to the L.A. County Juvenile Justice Realignment Block Grant Subcommittee, full renovations needed on the project would take 50-60 months at Camp Scott and cost upwards of $37.6 million to complete.  

A handful of the members who spoke said the timeline seemed long, and they would like to see if a better short-term, and possibly a long-term, solution could be found — such as at the Los Padrinos facility in Downey. 

In addition to having to do a near-top-down renovation or construction of classrooms and offices on the campus, the refurbishment of Camp Scott — which was originally built in the 1950s — would require things such as new walls, a new perimeter defense, and full site CCTV coverage. 

The would-be refurbished Camp Scott would also need to include a new 12-foot wide patrol road around the perimeter, a 16-foot new no-climb wall and better perimeter detection systems along the north and west sides of the campus.  

In other words, when looking at the 60 applicable criteria listed during the JJRBG Subcommittee meeting, the facility, as it currently stands, only has roughly 25% being highly responsive to the criterion listed under the “L.A. Model” for the residential treatment of youth offenders.  

Another 25% is not responsive or will require excessive cost to respond, and the remaining half of the criterion will require significant or some financial investment to modify.   

In total the project would cost roughly $12,855,30 in improvements and $16,099,631 in new construction. Project costs such as professional services, project administration, contingencies, moveable furniture, fixtures and equipment were budgeted at 30% of construction costs — bringing the total estimated project cost to $37,641,436. 

In their best estimations, labeled as Scenario 1 and Scenario 2, the build would take upwards of 50 months to complete after all the approvals, design and construction had taken place. Scenario 3 would involve 57-60 months of time. 

The timeline, as well as the cost, seemed to disturb the committee members, some of whom expressed they would not like to see the young people on the campus while construction is ongoing. Others asked if Los Padrinos in Downey would be a better fit for the population in both the short and long term.  

Adam Bettino, chair of the JCC and chief deputy at the Probation Department, recognizing that an update on the subcommittee’s progress was due by the end of the month, said that he would speak with the Public Works Department to see about possibly doing a “deeper dive” into the Los Padrinos facility.  

The conversation regarding Camp Scott, and what will be reported to the Board of Supervisors, will be discussed at the JJRBG’s next meeting in a few weeks, they said.   

On March 22, the Santa Clarita City Council voted to file a California Environmental Quality Act lawsuit against Los Angeles County. The county Board of Supervisors previously indicated that its motion to reopen Camp Scott was not subject to CEQA. Supervisor Kathryn Barger, whose 5th District includes the Santa Clarita Valley, was the only dissenting vote in the board’s 4-1 decision to move forward with housing violent youth offenders at Camp Scott.  

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