The on-again-off-again Graterford Prison project has just met another hurdle. Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett’s administration just announced that the Department of General Services will re-bid the project to include a new death row wing, and a women’s unit.
The new bidding process will likely further delay the project, which is considered one of the largest corrections projects in the country.
The prison, when complete, will be divided into sections, separating medium- and maximum-security inmates. A capital case unit will be added as well as construction of the state’s first, self-contained female transitional facility on prison grounds. Graterford is expected to hold up to 4,100 inmates. The project has yet to break ground.
In response to the re-bid, John Wetzel, acting Corrections Secretary, said that:
This is, by no means, a failure in design. It’s an opportunity for us to improve upon the design. Before we spend millions of dollars building a new prison, we need to ensure the money is being spent in an appropriate manner and that the prison design is in line with our department’s mission.
The news of the re-bid came hot on the heels of a lawsuit filed by contractors who accused the state of violating bidding practices and fair agreements. With the new bid, that case becomes moot, as the process begins all over again.
We will continue to closely monitor the situation as it develops and keep you informed of any changes.