PIKEVILLE – The Bledsoe County Correctional Complex will likely house its first prisoners in January of 2013, published reports say.
A recent story in the Chattanooga Times Free Press said Warden Jim Morrow expects the first tenants to arrive at the 1,444-bed facility at that time.
The facility is an expansion of the Southeastern Tennessee State Regional Correctional Facility, according to www.tn.gov. It is located on about 2,200 acres, about 15 miles from Pikeville. Taft Youth Center is also located here.
Many Crossville and Cumberland County area residents are employed at the facility.
“The new prison will house mostly medium-security prisoners, with a few hundred minimum- and maximum-security inmates, Morrow said,” Times Free Press writer Ben Benton wrote. “It employs some of the latest prison design features, he said, including a pair of tunnels that are the only entrance and exit for the 431,000-square-foot facility.”
The prison will have five housing units on completion and additional buildings for administration, security, visitation, infirmary and cafeteria and work programs, Benton’s story said, and will feature cost-saving measure including large windows, skylights and geothermal heating and cooling.
Some other facts on the new facility, from the story and TN.gov:
• The total capacity once expansion is complete will be 2,400 beds, including the 1,444 new beds.
• The estimated cost/construction will be just over $200 million.
• There will be 250 jobs created.
• By utilizing existing administrative staff, operational costs at the facility will be significantly lower than if the department had built a standalone facility.
• Upgrades will be made to regional water and electrical systems which will benefit not only the prison, but also the local community.
• Experienced staff will ensure a stable transition and dependable workforce.