Johnson County Youth & Family Services Center

Johnson County, KS
Architectural Design, Civil Engineering, Interior Design, Landscape Architecture, Planning, Programming
Olathe, KS
Project type
New construction
BD+C New Construction LEED v2 Platinum

Making needed resources more available for the Johnson County community

Johnson County, Kansas, recognized an opportunity to not only better coordinate resources geared toward troubled youth and their families, but also make them more welcoming and engaging. The Youth & Family Services Center provides this safe place for youth and their families to go for help. The treatment center serves probation violators and youth who can be stepped down from the juvenile detention center, and it was programmed to minimize trauma from psychiatric issues and substance abuse.

Creating an environment that encourages calm

As a therapy-based facility, the center is designed to be warm and welcoming, lacking any intimidating finishes that could deter youth in crisis from feeling comfortable and safe while receiving treatment. Families are encouraged to take advantage of the services provided within the facility, with soft interior finishes, natural materials, abundant daylighting and outdoor spaces.

The exterior building façade features a combination of limestone, decorative burnished concrete block, sustainable hardwoods and glass. With no perimeter fencing, the facility has a warm appearance and blends into the surrounding neighborhood while maintaining a civic presence.

The importance of early intervention

Along with encouraging early intervention, the facility also supports a more normative environment to allow for the best rehabilitation and treatment of juveniles who require low-level detention. Central programs for youth who reside within the center include a crossroads counseling treatment wing, visitation, recreation, and education spaces.

Resources and providers for troubled youth and their families are often spread among multiple providers in different areas, if available at all. Identifying and serving this critical population early and more effectively results in fewer repeat-offenders and long-term cost savings to the county.

We expect a highly functional facility, outstanding architecture and unparalleled sustainability performance. The [Treanor] team has successfully managed these divergent demands within the constraints of a restricted scope and budget.

Joe Waters, Assistant County Manager at Johnson Conty, KS


  • 2012 Special Citation Award, AIA AAJ

Project contact

Mark Ryan


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