Posted: Jun 25, 2014 8:01 PM
Updated: Jun 30, 2014 3:03 PM
MCALLEN - Construction crews are working to turn an old warehouse into a new processing center for unaccompanied children who entered the U.S. illegally.
Jorge Kuri works near the site. "Well, I know they are preparing for something," he told us. "For the last years... it's been empty."
Kuri isn't sure what used to be in the building. Documents show the site was used for "industrial manufacturing" and "low hazard storage."
The General Services Administration is now leasing the building and making about $500,000 worth of changes. The building's owner wouldn't answer any of CHANNEL 5 NEWS' questions about what used to be inside.
However, building plans reveal what's to come. A chain-link fence will surround the complex. Portable showers and medical stations will go up outside. Four separate pods will be inside the warehouse with each enclosed in a 10-foot tall chain-link fence.
At least four Border Patrol agents will be stationed in a raised platform, so
they'll be able to see into each holding cell.
About 50 beds will line each room. Boys and girls will be separated. Cells with dozens of port-a-potties and handwash stations will be attached to each cell.
Kuri isn't concerned about his having new neighbors across the street. "My only thing is... I hope they do it right. These warehouses get very hot," he told us.
He added he doesn't believe an old warehouse is a place for a child, yet alone 1,000 of them. That building is leased for 12 months. It will serve only as temporary housing for unaccompanied minors, while Border Patrol agents process them.