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St. Charles Youth Center Repairs Costing Taxpayers Millions

Some are critical of the expense of maintaining the 109-year-old facility after a smaller, 16-year-old center was closed last year in Murphysboro.

After closing youth center in Murphysboro and Joliet in 2012, the state has spent $4.5 million repairing the 109-year-old Illinois Youth Center in St. Charles, Ill. | Credit: Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice
After closing youth center in Murphysboro and Joliet in 2012, the state has spent $4.5 million repairing the 109-year-old Illinois Youth Center in St. Charles, Ill. | Credit: Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice

State taxpayers are on the hook for millions of dollars in repairs to the 109-year-old Illinois Youth Center in rural St. Charles after Gov. Pat Quinn decided last year to close a 16-year-old youth center in Murphysboro, the Bloomington Pantagraph reports.


The move to close the Murphysboro facility and the juvenile detention center in Joliet was considered controversial by some officials, according to the Pantagraph, which reports taxpayers have had to pay for more than $4.5 million to repair and make upgrades at the St. Charles facility, which is home to 320 male juveniles.


The Pantagraph points out that some of those repairs were for basics — replacing leaking roofs and repairing a drinking water system that was failing. By comparison, the paper notes, the now empty Murphysboro youth center once was a more highly valued, albeit smaller, youth detention center.


State officials say the expenditures were required and would have been needed even if the Murphysboro had remained open.


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