Vacant Hanover building may be Virginia’s ‘Bridge to Nowhere’

HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) — A new administration building recently constructed on the campus of Hanover’s Juvenile Correction Center cost Virginia taxpayers $3.5 million.

The only problem with the over 13,000 square feet structure: the correction center is shutting down.

“Recently the Department of Juvenile Justice downsized its correction centers,” Greg Davy, a spokesperson with the department, said. [BONUS: Read more CBS 6 Investigates stories]

In fact , all of the correctional center’s residents are expected to be out of the facility by the end of the month.

Several concerned citizens contacted CBS 6 News regarding the new structure.

“It is a huge waste of our tax dollars,” Matt Windham, a Hanover resident, said.

CBS 6 began investigating the building’s construction last December.

Workers continued building the structure even though Gov. Bob McDonnell indicated he wanted the complex shuttered in a budget amendment.

“Construction began about a year and a half ago before we ever knew the facility was going to be closed,” Greg Davy said.

Earlier in the week, the Department of Juvenile Justice said the building would be “re-purposed.” However, it remained unclear what that purpose might be.

After CBS 6 questioned the use of the facility, the department announced it would become a new training facility for not only juvenile justice officers, but for other state employees as well.

“We think it is a great use of the facility which was already two-thirds finished when we got word that we had to close the facility down,” Davy said.

While it appears as though this “building for no one” will be used, Watchdog Virginia said it is a reminder to keep an eye on government spending.

“If you dig far enough, there is a lot of fraud and waste in certain areas of government,” Carten Cordell of Watchdog Virginia said.

“We do not believe this is a waste of money,” Davy said in response.

CBS 6 will continue to investigate this story. Stick with WTVR.com and CBS 6 News for updates.

What story should CBS 6 News investigate next? Click here to send a news tip to the CBS 6 Investigates team. 

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