Western State Design (WSD) was chosen to be part of an accomplished team of designers and subcontractors assembled and managed by the Balfour Beatty Construction Company to build and replace the aged San Diego Women’s Detention Facility in Santee, California. WSD was awarded the contract to equip the new prison’s laundry facility based on its long and successful track record supplying reliable and high efficiency industrial laundry equipment to other county-owned facilities including other correctional facilities.
The huge 1216-bed, 460,000-square-foot Las Colinas Women’s Detention and Reentry complex, built in two phases starting in 2012, took four years to complete and became fully operational in early 2016. The project was completed ahead of schedule and on budget and won a number of prestigious industry awards for its unique, innovative design.
“This was a challenging project, though not really out of the ordinary for us,” according to Andy Jeninga, a 16-year veteran WSD industrial laundry specialist who led WSD’s project team and installation effort. “A facility this big not only requires the capacity to process a lot of laundry very quickly, it also has to use as little water and energy as possible, given its location in drought-stricken southern California,” he continued.
Based on his experience with other similar high volume institutional laundry projects, Jeninga and team recommended an innovative tunnel washer from the Pellerin Milnor Corporation, representing the latest in water and energy saving technology while providing the fastest wash times.
“The Milnor tunnel washer installed at Las Colinas can process up to 1650 lbs. of laundry per hour, using 85% less water than a conventional high capacity commercial washer” according to Jeninga.
Two industrial strength 460 lb. Milnor dryers, along with some smaller dryers were chosen to match the throughput of the tunnel washer. Additional equipment automates other necessary laundry-related tasks.
In addition to being fast and energy efficient, the industrial laundry equipment chosen for this project also includes important ergonomic features easing the daunting task of processing such a huge amount of laundry.
“For example, to process linens, all the operator has to do is load them into the tunnel washer loading conveyor which automatically weighs and signals the operator when to stop. Once washed, the linen is discharged into a sling cart. The operator then uses an electric winch lift which raises the sling up to a gravity rail system. Using only one hand, the operator can move 400 lbs. of linen and easily load it into the dryer. When the dryer discharges, it tilts forward, and, while slowly rotating, dumping the linen into a cart, all ready for folding,” according to Jeninga.
The full list of industrial laundry equipment installed at Las Colinas includes the following:
- (1) Milnor Pulse Flow #76028-05 Tunnel Washer
- (2) High capacity Milnor M460 460# lb. Dryer
- (1) Chicago Dryer TriStar24P Ironer
- (1) Milnor #36021V5Z 80# Washer
- (1) Milnor #36026V5Z 100# Washer
- (1) Milnor M115 115# Dryer (installed during Phase 1)
- (2) Milnor M82 80# Dryer (installed during Phase 1)
- (1) E-Tech Rail System Hydraulic Lift
- (1) McClure Industries SW500 Cart Washer
- (1) Parker Boiler WH1410 Water Heater
- (1) Thermal Engineering of Arizona (TEA) Hot Water Storage Tank & Pumping System
“WSD is very proud to have been chosen to be part of the team that created such an amazing facility,” said Jeninga. “Though the laundry isn’t the most visible or glamorous aspect of a high profile project like this, it is arguably one of the most important in day-to-day operations,” he concluded.