- Indiana officials including Gov. Eric Holcomb and construction representatives broke ground on the Westville Correctional Facility, a $1.2 billion prison in Westville, Indiana, on Sept. 28. It’s the most expensive project in the state’s history, according to the Times of Northwest Indiana.
- The construction team, Build Westville, is a joint venture made of Lansing, Michigan-based Granger Construction, Indianapolis-based F.A. Wilhelm Construction and Garmong Construction Services, headquartered in Terre Haute, Indiana, according to a release from the governor’s office. The architect on the job is Elevatus Architecture, based in Fort Wayne, Indiana, according to Granger’s project page.
- The 1.4 million-square-foot project will replace the current Westville Correctional Facility, originally built in 1951 as a mental health facility and converted into a prison in 1979. It will house up to 4,200 inmates, about 700 more than currently live at the space, and consolidate employees and other prisoners from the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City, according to the governor’s office. Some inmates may also be sent to other facilities.
The prison will have space for administrative functions, program services, security, medical, food services, recreational and facilities management, according to Granger’s project page. Key project features include:
- 18,000 square feet of classroom space.
- A vocational training program space.
- 400 beds for mental health care and addiction recovery.
- Two gymnasiums.
- A central utility plant.
The governor’s office expects the prison to be complete in early 2027. Kevin Orme, the director of construction at the Indiana Department of Corrections, echoed that target date, but told Construction Dive that could change as the project gets underway.
“We’re just now getting started. There’s a lot of variables, so that’ll all become clear as the project evolves,” Orme said.
As work at the Westville facility gets off the ground, another large prison project has run into issues. The cost of a new prison in Elmore County, Alabama, has ballooned to $1.08 billion, the Associated Press reported on Sept. 28. Montgomery, Alabama-based Caddell Construction is building the project, according to Contractor News, which said the state hired Caddell at a $623 million price tag.
The overrun will eat into the $1.3 billion total that the state promised in 2021 for the Elmore County prison, along with another one in Escambia County, which included money from COVID-19 relief funds. Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey blamed inflation for the latest cost jump, AP reported.