Delaware County commissioners on July 18 voted to contribute 25 percent of the estimated $501,020 in plumbing repairs and temporary housing costs related to renovations at the Central Ohio Youth Center in Marysville.

Delaware County commissioners on July 18 voted to contribute 25 percent of the estimated $501,020 in plumbing repairs and temporary housing costs related to renovations at the Central Ohio Youth Center in Marysville.

The juvenile detention center serves Champaign, Delaware, Madison and Union counties. Youths from Delaware County represent 42.3 percent of the facility's population.

Probate and juvenile court judge Kenneth Spicer told commissioners the emergency plumbing repairs are necessary for the building, which was constructed in 1973.

"The existing plumbing was in a deteriorated and clogged state. Leaking pipes in the walls, inappropriate repairs, significant black mold growth, sewer odors were present and unmistakable," Spicer said. "I could see the health department saying at any moment that this facility is shut down."

While the work is being conducted, the youths will be housed at theLogan County Juvenile Detention Center in Bellefontaine, which has guaranteed 10 beds at $40 per day and additional beds as needed at $45 per day.

The budget for repairs totals $651,020, including$495,100 for construction, a 20-percent contingency fund and $57,000 for contract beds.

The Ohio Department of Youth Services agreed to contribute $150,000 toward the project, Spicer said.

"The bottom line is that it has to be done. It's one of those unfortunate situations," Spicer said.

In addition to the repairs, the center will add 2,200 square feet, bringing the overall project cost to $2.8-million, The Columbus Dispatch reported.

The renovated and expanded facility will have a secure entrance for offenders, new therapy and treatment rooms, administrative offices and a multipurpose room. The project, which is being funded by bonds, and $1.4 million from the Department of Youth Services, is scheduled to be completed by the beginning of 2012.

It is financially beneficial for the county to continue its participation in the youth center rather than build its own, Spicer said.

The cost of security, food, and construction quickly add up, he said.

"It makes far more sense, unless you're a county of one million people, that we're in a shared facility," Spicer said. "Hopefully with the remodeling, the addition and this done, hopefully it will be a considerable time before there's some unforeseen thing needed. We're fortunate four different entities are helping."

"It's still cheaper than building our own facility," commissioner Tommy Thompson said.