The New Facility
The Letot Girls’ Residential Treatment Center will be housed in a new two-story, 55,000 square foot facility which will be built on the corner of Denton Drive and Lombardy, adjacent to the existing Letot Center. The property was purchased from the Dallas Independent School District by Dallas County specifically for the Residential Treatment Center.
t. howard + associates
t. howard + associates
The exterior of the Girls’ Center will give the impression of security, while the interior will feel comfortable and calm. Interior spaces will allow for maximum visibility and supervision. Vision panels in offices, programs spaces and the six housing units will allow for indirect visual supervision of residents. Building design will maximize the availability of natural light and provide both indoor and outdoor visitation areas for girls and their families.
Activity areas will encourage relationship building through the use of moveable furniture conducive to small groups and intimate interactions between staff and girls and by creating areas for comfortable personal conversations.
The first floor is comprised of a central exterior courtyard surrounded on three sides by 1) an administrative, intake services and medical area, 2) mechanical, storage, kitchen and dining facilities and 3) educational services and gymnasium area.
To enhance security, all living quarters will be on the second floor of the Girls’ Center and look out upon the central courtyard. Because privacy is very important for teen girls, six residential units each contain eight bedrooms which surround a central activity room. Bedrooms will feature natural light as well as security grade night lights built into overhead lighting because girls tend to have nightmares relating to past trauma. In addition, each girl will have a marker board for personal notes and pictures, a mirror and space for personal effects.
A time out room, restrooms and showers and a supply closet are included in each of the six residential units. Because girls need larger grooming areas, restrooms will provide extra outlets for blow dryers and curling irons as well as ample mirror and sink space.
In between each two residential units are offices for a case manager and Juvenile Service Officer (JSO), in addition to a therapy workroom. The case manager and JSO offices will have clear views into the residential unit activity rooms and appropriate views into the shower and restroom areas. Restroom and shower areas will meet privacy needs without compromising security through the use of saloon doors and short opaque shower curtains.
Room features, beds and desks in each of the six residential units will scale to be appropriate for the level of care different groups of girls require. Girls requiring a low level of care will be in a relatively normal environment, whereas beds and desks will be fixed in place in units serving girls who need a high level of specialized care.
The existing and new facilities will be connected via a secure outdoor walkway and a central courtyard. In addition, a full service kitchen in the new facility will enable staff to prepare “home-cooked” meals for both facilities. Currently, meals for Letot Center residents are provided by the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department. The existing and new facilities will operate independently, with the exception of three features: An outdoor walkway, a central courtyard and a full service kitchen.