Job Order Contracting Allows Detention Center to Accept Influx of Inmates

Job Order Contracting Allows Detention Center to Accept Influx of Inmates


The Kearny Mesa Juvenile Detention Center in San Diego, California, faced an unplanned and highly-visible project when the Camp Barrett Detention Center abruptly closed, causing a sudden influx of 150 youths. The County of San Diego needed to act fast to improve three detention units in order to accommodate the surge in residents on a six-month timeline. The improvements included new flooring, furniture and doors, restroom updates, lighting upgrades, fresh paint and security cameras for the dormitories and common areas. Faced with an aggressive schedule, a fluid Scope of Work and a slew of uncertainties, the county turned to its Job Order Contracting (JOC) program for fast and effective project delivery.


Job Order Contracting is an Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract that allows multiple projects to be completed through a single, competitively-bid contract. This eliminates the need to bid each project separately, saving valuable time. Gordian’s JOC solution establishes preset Unit Prices up front in a Construction Task Catalog® (CTC) containing more than 275,000 construction Tasks based on local prevailing wage rates, and local equipment and material costs.

San Diego County already had a JOC contract in place, which saved officials months of construction procurement selection time. Given the compressed schedule, the county chose to partner with Harborside Construction, an awarded JOC contractor with knowledge of the project site.

Once construction started, two scope change requests were initiated by the Probation Department but with no additional time allotted to complete them. Thanks to Job Order Contracting, Harborside was able to perform the work quickly, while being able to react to the scope change, and the county enjoyed the comfort of preset pricing for the new scope of work.


The upgrades and renovations at the Kearny Mesa Juvenile Detention Center were completed 30 days ahead of schedule, including the additional work. The project not only finished before the deadline, but the cost came in $31,124 under the approved budget. Additionally, Job Order Contracting allowed the Probation Department to transition the juveniles faster and decommission the original facility early. The cost and time savings were attributed to the contractor working in partnership with the county to ensure the project requirements were met. As a result of the incredible savings, collaboration and quality of the work, the Kearny Mesa Juvenile Detention Center project won a 2018 Harry H. Mellon Award of Merit in Job Order Contracting.

Learn more about Job Order Contracting.