NYC's New Floating Detention Facility Built By Avondale Industries Opens Up Space

In 1989 the City of New York placed an order for the world's first built-to-order floating detention facility from Avondale Industries Shipyard.

The city already has four floating detention facilities used for work-release and minimum security: two are converted Staten Island ferries and two are war-surplus military barracks.

The vessel was designed by Gonchor & Sput, Architects and Planners, P.C. of New York. It is 125 feet wide, 625 feet long, and has six levels plus a mezzanine with roof decks. Designed for semi-permanent mooring alongside a dock, the facility will receive its electricity, water, and sewage services from shore, while generating its own heating steam and air conditioning. The vessel has the capability of self-sustaining for 48 hours if necessary through the use of two 2000- kW diesel generators and two 40,000-gallon fuel oil tanks that serve the diesels as well as the heating- system boilers. In the event of a failure of this system, a 500-kW diesel generator can provide enough emergency power to operate one fire pump, all intercom systems, elevator and security systems, lighting and other services as required by Coast Guard regulations.

The floating facility includes modern living quarters, which meet all required standards, as well as indoor and outdoor recreation areas, shops, vocational and academic classrooms, libraries and chapels. The kitchen is equipped to accommodate three kinds of diets: conventional, Muslim and Kosher.

Fire protection aboard the vessel involves a combination of pressurized fire mains and sprinklers, CO2 systems and portable fire extinguishers.

The finished fire protection system considerably exceeds basic Coast Guard requirements, as well as meeting rules of the NYC Fire Department for smoke evacuation. The system was designed by Herbert S. Hiller Corporation of Metairie, La., a Cerberus Pyrotronics distributor and a specialist in offshore and safety services.

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Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 91,  Mar 1992

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First published in 1881 Maritime Reporter is the world's largest audited circulation publication serving the global maritime industry.