Houston County and Crockett City Administrators are working diligently to re-purpose the facility former known as the Crockett State School.
According to County Judge Erin Ford, two groups visited Crockett for a tour of the facility. In a press release, Judge Ford stated, “We’ve got two groups coming to the State School for site walkthroughs, each looking at the facility to determine whether it fits within their respective programs. Obviously, there won’t be a commitment from either group to occupy the school until they have evaluated whether it fits their purposes.’
Judge Ford reported, “The first group is the Texas National Guard, accompanied by representatives of the Texas Juvenile Justice Department. They want to establish two 22 week boot camps for youth offenders in a facility like CSS. The TNG has a long history in the State of establishing these training camps. They are flying from Austin and will land their Blackhawk helicopter on the school grounds in the morning, conduct their walkthrough, and then fly to Beaumont for another tour at the Al Price Facility. This is their second visit.”
He added, “The second group is a juvenile rehabilitation institution called Cornerstone, based in Salt Lake City, Utah. This will be their second visit to the school as well. Thom has established, through the Crockett EDC a Service Contract through Mel Brown Associates, and they are coordinating the site visit with this group.”
Judge Ford relayed, “I wanted you all to know about these activities because a great deal of effort has been made to establish these, and other contacts in the juvenile detention program, with respect to the State School over the last six months. We’re cautiously optimistic about reopening the State School, but we don’t want to build false hopes in the communities prematurely. Mayor Mask and Thom Lambert are working through the Economic Development Council on the vetting process, with MBA’s support, and we’re hopeful for a positive outcome.”
Judge Ford noted, “As well, MBA will be meeting with the Sheriff for the first time tomorrow to discuss options for the old jail facility. It will be a more difficult task to establish a private institution for that building than the State School, but they are working on it. The County does not currently have a service contract with MBA, but is able to establish one, with the approval of the Commissioners Court, since that building is owned by the County.” He concluded, “I want to thank Mayor Mask, Thom Lambert, and Chris von Doenhoff for their support and direction in these efforts.”