Nearly two years after it was originally scheduled to be ready, Pennsylvania will begin introducing staff to the State Correctional Institute Phoenix in Skippack Township, write Joseph N. DiStefano & Michaelle Bond for Philly.com.
SCI Phoenix is the biggest and most expensive prison in the state, costing taxpayers $400 million, with another $23 million in fines related to construction delays still unresolved.
This makes it the second largest capital expense to taxpayers after the Convention Center in Philadelphia.
Delays such as contractor conflicts, inspection struggles and final construction fixes have pushed the expected completion date to September 28. But in anticipation, state officials have said that some of the staff will start working there in the next few weeks.
So far, certificates of occupancy have been granted for eight guard towers and the utility buildings at the concrete complex just east of the old Graterford Prison. The other structures are still being reviewed.
The new prison is surrounded by rows of building-high barbed wire instead of walls and has slightly larger cells than Graterford. But the facility will still house around 4,000 inmates, including a women’s unit and death row.
Read more about the new prison at Philly.com by clicking here.