… we have a small favor to ask. Thousands of people have placed their trust in the Racine County Eye’s high-impact journalism because we focus on solutions-based journalism.

With no shareholders or billionaire owners, we can provide trustworthy journalism that focuses on helping readers.

Unlike many others, Racine County Eye’s journalism is available for everyone to read, regardless of what they can afford to pay. We do this because we believe in information equality. Greater numbers of people can keep track of events, understand their impact on people and communities, and become inspired to take meaningful action.

If there were ever a time to join us, it is now. Every contribution, however big or small, powers our journalism and sustains our future. Support the Racine County Eye from as little as $5 – it only takes a minute. Thank you.


Your contribution is appreciated.

CALEDONIA – County officials are considering a site along Three Mile Road, near Batten International Airport here, for the proposed Racine County Youth Development and Care Center. A public input meeting, hosted by Racine County and the Village of Caledonia, is scheduled for 4 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 4 at Caledonia Village Hall, 5043 Chester Lane.

The proposed location is just south of Three Mile Road at the airport’s northeast corner. To learn more about the project, click here.

The planned $42.5 million youth facility would replace the county’s current youth detention center located on the fourth floor of the Dennis Kornwolf Service Center, 1717 Taylor Ave.

It would serve up to 48 youth from Racine County as well as seven other Southeastern Wisconsin counties (Kenosha, Walworth, Ozaukee, Waukesha, Rock and Jefferson).

In addition, the new facility would house and serve youth from the region that are sent to the state Lincoln Hills youth prison. The Wisconsin Department of Corrections (DOC) eventually plans to eventually close that site.

The new facility would provide a modern approach for treating juveniles who are in the criminal justice system. The plans include a school-like setting that would provide vocational training.
A DOC grant would fund nearly all of the facility’s price tag. About $2.5 million would be financed with county-issued bonds.

Prior Location Pushback

County officials received strong pushback from City of Racine leaders on plans to build the 70,000-square-foot youth facility in the 1700 block of Taylor Avenue.

Racine County quietly purchased the former Brannon Lumber Co. property across the street from the Kornwolf Center last July. However, Racine Common Council members complained that they didn’t learn of the property’s planned use until receiving a formal presentation by Racine County Executive Jonathan Delagrave on Dec. 15.

In early January, Racine Mayor Cory Mason and 13 out of 15 Racine Common Council members sent a letter to Delagrave and the Racine County Board stating that they were “adamantly opposed” to the Taylor Avenue location. While the group wrote that they appreciated the extensive, best-practices planning for the facility, they were extremely unhappy with any location within the Racine city limits.

The city leaders were particularly unhappy with the fact that the Taylor Avenue site is adjacent to residential neighborhoods and is within a few blocks of Knapp Elementary School. They were also critical about the lack of input from neighboring residents and complained that locating a detention center within the city would negatively impact efforts to improve racial equality among its residents.

In his State of the County address on May 25, Delagrave suggested that the proposed Youth Development and Care Center might be constructed outside the city.

All Sites Being Considered

In an email Friday, Racine County spokesman David Maack emphasized that the Caledonia location is under review and that no final decision has been made. That includes the Taylor Avenue property that the county bought for $290,000.

“All proposed sites are still in consideration until a final site is selected and approved by the Racine County Board. At this time, Racine County will continue to solicit community input on the future location of our Youth Development and Care Center,” he wrote.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Your contribution is appreciated.

[empowerlocal_campaign_offers region_id="22" subcampaign_id="8"]

Paul Holley is retired from careers in journalism, public relations and marketing but not from life. These days, he pretty much writes about what he feels like writing. You may contact him directly at:...