Contractor Chosen for New Prison Project in Southeastern Pennsylvania

Oct 26, 2011, 16:57 ET from Pennsylvania Department of General Services

HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct. 26, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A contractor has been selected to build a new, multi-use state correctional facility in Montgomery County, officials announced today.

Secretary of General Services Sheri Phillips, along with state Secretary of Corrections John Wetzel, announced the selection today of a joint venture between Walsh Construction and Heery International, with a bid of $315,797,000 for the design-build project.

Walsh Construction, of Canonsburg, Washington County, and Heery International Inc., of Philadelphia, will award the mechanical, electrical and plumbing contracts after the design is complete. Astorino, of Pittsburgh, will be the architect.

The project, called State Correctional Institutions Phoenix East and West, was rebid after original plans were completely overhauled to meet the present and future needs of the Department of Corrections. The new bid is $7.13 million, or 2.2 percent, less than the original award of $322,927,000.

The facility, which is expected to be completed by 2014, will be built on the grounds of SCI Graterford in Montgomery County.

The project calls for the construction of a modern, secure facility that will house up to 4,100 offenders and will better fit the Department of Corrections' population needs while reducing operational costs.

"When the new administration began, we took the opportunity to review every construction project to ensure we were getting a product that matched our mission of operating safe and secure prisons,'' Wetzel said. "Specific to SCI Phoenix, this was an opportunity to improve upon a design and change the scope of the project to ensure taxpayer funds are spent in an appropriate manner.

"We are thrilled that all of our changes -- specifically security enhancements, a capital case unit and a female transition unit -- will be included in this new project," Wetzel added.

 "Thanks to the teamwork of the departments of General Services and Corrections, we have yet another example of how government works better when it works together,'' Phillips said. "We will have a modern facility that better serves the present and future needs of Pennsylvania's corrections system, has more features than the original design and will cost less to build. This is truly a win for everyone involved, and especially for taxpayers.''

Specific design changes made by corrections officials include the addition of a 100-bed capital case unit; a separate, outside-of-the-perimeter female inmate transitional unit; a change in housing-unit layout that allows for better staff visibility; additional space for Correctional Industries; and a number of security changes and features that ensure the physical-protection systems in place can effectively combine technology.

"This redesign involved input from a number of DOC employees,'' Wetzel said. "I am pleased their hard work will result in a design that better fits our population needs while reducing operational costs.''

Media contacts:

Troy Thompson, DGS, 717-787-3197

Susan McNaughton, DOC, 717-975-4879

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of General Services