On Feb. 19, Maricopa County and municipal leaders joined the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, Sheriff Paul Penzone and Presiding Judge Joseph C. Welty for a ribbon-cutting and tour of the new Maricopa County Intake, Transfer and Release (ITR) facility.

The 500,000-sq-ft ITR complex features a 1,280-bed jail for long-term stays, replacing the aging Durango Jail; a 512-bed holding area for people expected to be released within 72 hours; a central intake facility to replace the current one at the 4th Avenue Jail downtown; and four courtrooms to accommodate court appearances on site.

The $185-million project was approved by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors in 2015, when Arrington Watkins Architects joined the project team to provide site analysis, master planning, programming, construction documents and full-time construction administration. Hensel Phelps served as contractor on the CMAR project.

“This facility represents a huge step forward in our collective effort to protect our growing community and dispense justice fairly. It brings so many services into one place, which is better for taxpayers, better for our law enforcement and criminal justice partners, and better for individuals and families trying to navigate the system,” said Sheriff Paul Penzone in a statement.

“And importantly, I believe the ITR will provide our officers with the best environment possible to do their jobs safely and in a matter consistent with our highest standards as we work toward a stronger and better Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office,” he said.

Sheriff’s office staff received the keys to the facility in early February and plan to open the ITR in April.

On Feb. 20, the PENTA Building Group in Las Vegas hosted more than 500 industry peers and employees for the third of four Safety Kick-Off events across three states to promote safety as construction booms across the Southwest. Held at the recently expanded Wynn Las Vegas Meeting and Convention Space, the event featured a safety expo touting the latest in equipment and technologies; an awards ceremony honoring individuals and companies with exemplary dedication to safety; and motivational speaker, author and professional tennis player Roger Crawford as keynote speaker. A staple in PENTA’s culture, the annual Safety Kick-Offs are held to ensure safety remains a top priority across the industry.

Two events were held in early February in Southern California, and the final Safety Kick-Off took place on Feb. 27 in Phoenix.