Parish prison expansion to open in a week

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 14, 2001

FERRIDAY, La. – The grand opening of a 46,000-square-foot expansion of the Concordia Parish Correctional Facility is set for 6 p.m. March 22.

&uot;The opening of this facility will mean a tremendous amount to a parish whose unemployment rate is one of the highest in the state,&uot; said Sheriff Randy Maxwell.

Sixty new employees were trained recently to work at the new facility, which will be located next to the current prison on Louisiana 15 near Ferriday.

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&uot;Not only that, but there’s all the things we will buy from the surrounding area, which will boost the local economy,&uot; Maxwell said. Along with the current prison, the new facility is expected to have a $500,000-a-month economic impact.

The entire expansion has now been built, except for an outside fence that will be finished before prisoners are moved into the facility.

Inspections by the Louisiana Department of Corrections, the State Fire Marshal’s Office and the Department of Health and Hospitals will begin March 19. Prisoners will be transferred to the expansion soon after that, although Maxwell did not have a specific date as of Tuesday.

Project Manager Dennis Boyette of B.A.S. Construction of Rayville, which is building the facility, first estimated that the expansion would be finished and ready to use by early February.

But wet weather slightly delayed some outside work, including construction of the fence, Maxwell said.

The expansion will include eight prisoner dorms with four control rooms overlooking them; a multi-purpose room; expanded kitchen and storage facilities; and four recreational yards.