San Quentin State Prison Healthcare
Facility, SAN QUENTIN, CA
A new facility for inmate medical, dental and mental health services, as well as receiving and release activities; new secure holding areas and administrative offices; instead of required LEED Silver Accreditation, achieved more advanced LEED Gold accreditation at no additional cost to the owner; project delivered on an accelerated schedule, while providing complex design/build mechanical and plumbing systems within the secure perimeter of a working maximum security prison.
To construct a new facility where the prison’s approximately 5,000 inmates can receive adequate medical, dental and mental health care; to settle a class action lawsuit (see “Background” below).
SCOPE OF SERVICES
Marelich provided the design/build services as well as all mechanical and plumbing systems for this new 116,100 s.f. services building within San Quentin State Prison. All plumbing and mechanical systems meet the stringent requirements of both the California State Prison System security guidelines and the California OSHPD health guidelines.
Since the construction site was located within the secure perimeter adjacent to the prison’s general population exercise yard, care had to be taken to control tools, materials, and tradespeople entering and exiting the site. Marelich used facilities directly adjacent to the building site to manage the construction’s tools. To ensure no tools would fall into the hands of inmates who might use them as weapons, etc., all tools were inventoried, stored on shadow boards, and checked in and out daily by the contractors and prison guard staff. The contractor’s trailers and material lay-down/staging area were located outside the secure perimeter for receiving and readying materials and equipment prior to transporting them within the secure perimeter. Additionally, a separate sally port was designated for the tradespeople to enter and exit the secure perimeter. This sally port vastly decreased the time required to access the site through the prison’s general vehicle sally port, which saw heavy prison operation traffic.
In 2001, a federal class action lawsuit was reviewed by the U.S. District Court which found that the level of healthcare provided within California’s prisons was in violation of the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. In 2002, the state agreed to take steps to bring the care into line with constitutional standards but failed to do so in a timely fashion. In 2005, the court issued an order to establish a federal receivership to address the prison care system’s shortcomings. The San Quentin Central Health Services Building is intended to partially meet this objective. The new facility incorporates historic elements, including the façade, wood trusses, and murals, from the original 1885 hospital building, which was listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. In addition, the new facility was built around the state’s oldest structure, known as the “Dungeon”, which was built in 1854.