Press Release

Balfour Beatty in $220m plus U.S. women’s prison contract win

16 September 2011


The County of San Diego has awarded Balfour Beatty / Barnhart the first phase of a two-phase contract for design-build services to construct the new $221.5-million San Diego County Women’s Detention Facility in Santee, Calif. The joint venture is a partnership between Balfour Beatty Construction and Barnhart Balfour Beatty.

Comprising 34 buildings across 45 acres, the 1,216-bed facility will replace the 1960s-era Las Colinas Detention Facility, the primary point of intake for women prisoners in San Diego County. The project will be built on existing and adjacent Las Colinas properties and as new facilities are constructed the old buildings will be demolished.

The new complex will incorporate a number of design innovations including clusters of smaller-scale housing units that are grouped according to detention levels that support the varying security classifications of the inmate population. The layout will combine generous use of open space and landscaping amenities to create a campus-like environment. The development will include dining, medical, administrative and security facilities, buildings for inmate industries, a rehabilitation and learning resource center, and a new entrance with expanded parking for staff and visitors.

The design team includes executive architect Kaplan McLaughlin Diaz (KMD) of San Francisco and associate architect HMC of San Diego. The project will incorporate green building techniques and materials to target LEED® Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. “Significant energy cost savings will be achieved with on-site renewable energy from various design and construction techniques,” explained KMD’s Steve Wagner, AIA.

“We are honored to be given the opportunity to build this important County facility and excited about introducing San Diego to the criminal justice expertise of Balfour Beatty Construction, the country’s fifth-largest contractor,” said Eric Stenman, president of Barnhart Balfour Beatty. “Our company has built more than 55 prisons, jails and courthouses in 10 states and the District of Columbia.”

Stenman added that this four-year construction project will directly create an estimated 700 jobs and require the services of more than 60 local subcontractors. Pre-construction work will begin this month with final completion set for October 2015.


Analyst/investor enquiries:
Basak Kotler
Balfour Beatty plc
Tel 020 7216 6924

Media enquiries:
Tony Maguire
Balfour Beatty plc
Tel 020 7216 6847

Notes to Editors:

1. A leader in the U.S. commercial construction industry, Balfour Beatty Construction provides general contracting, at-risk construction management, and design-build services through more than 2,400 professionals nationwide. For the past two years, the company has been cited as a Top 10 Green Builder by Engineering-News Record and as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For® by FORTUNE magazine. The company is part of London-based Balfour Beatty plc, a global leader in professional services, construction services, support services, and infrastructure investment, with more than $18 billion in annual revenues. To learn more about the company and its subsidiaries—Barnhart Balfour Beatty, Charter Builders, Howard S. Wright and SpawMaxwell—visit
2. Barnhart Balfour Beatty is a full-service general building, engineering and construction management firm. The company (License #439407) is one of the largest educational builders in the country, has worked on military construction projects for nearly 30 years, and has built award-winning projects for local governments and the healthcare industry. Barnhart Balfour Beatty is a member of the Balfour Beatty Construction team (, a leader in the U.S. commercial construction industry for 77 years and one of Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For® in the U.S. 
3. Balfour Beatty ( is a world-class infrastructure group with capabilities in professional services, construction services, support services and infrastructure investments.
We work in partnership with our customers principally in the UK, continental Europe, the US, South-East Asia, Australia and the Middle East, who value the highest levels of quality, safety and technical expertise.
Key infrastructure markets include transportation (roads, rail and airports); social infrastructure (education, specialist healthcare, and various types of accommodation); utilities (water, gas and power transmission and generation) and commercial (offices, leisure and retail).
The Group delivers services essential to the development, creation and care of these infrastructure assets including project design, financing and management, engineering and construction, and facilities management services.
Balfour Beatty employs 50,000 people around the world.
Avatar for Media Team

Media Team

+44 (0)203 810 2345