Cleveland Youth Detention Centre Expansion

Secure Facilities

Live environment expertise in highly secure facility

Cleveland Youth Detention Centre Expansion


A major expansion to the Cleveland Youth Detention Centre increasing the facility’s capacity to 96 beds was delivered in two stages. Our approach ensured the facility could remain operational throughout the building phase. Stage one saw the construction of 17 new and secured buildings as well as commissioning of state-of-the-art communications and security systems. Stage two concentrated on works inside the centre including demolition of existing buildings and construction of new accommodation and recreational buildings. Significant landscaping and civil works were also undertaken.


Townsville, Queensland

Queensland Department of Communities

$160 million


2010 – 2014


Hours worked on the project




Beds delivered over one site

5 yr

total construction period


Building strong client relationships

Tight turnaround for services cutover

One of the most challenging aspects of delivery was expanding the secure perimeter and relocating the master control room of the high security facility. We had a 16-hour window to deliver this major part of the project that involved joining the new perimeter section with the existing as well as removing 12 fence panels from the redundant perimeter. After four months of extensive stakeholder engagement, we developed a detailed 72-hour plan with activities broken into 30-minute timeslots to manage this complex challenge. This process was monitored hourly during the cutover – the result was a highly successful rapid transition which was free from incident or interruption.

Highly secure live environment 

Collaboration with operational and program staff was crucial to this project. Stage 2 works were completed within a fully operational facility, handed over three months ahead of schedule with minimal disruption to personnel and residents. Our deep understanding of operational requirements and processes enabled us to develop a program that worked around operations and included staged start-up and finish times as well as daily close-down inspections. 

Creating meaningful opportunities for youth

Our site team drove a forward-thinking initiative to engage the facility’s young people by creating work experience opportunities on the project. We collaborated with the centre’s program and operational staff, as well as our subcontractor, to ensure all planning and approvals were completed so we could create meaningful work experience opportunities for these young people. This had long-lasting positive outcomes for the many participants as it created a sense of pride in the work they had delivered as well as resulting in improved schoolwork performance. For two young people, this work experience led directly to them securing job opportunities when they left the facility.


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