CCA gives first tour of facility under construction

Published 12:05 am Tuesday, December 18, 2007

NATCHEZ —Corrections Corporation of America dined local officials and citizens Monday in one of its newly constructed buildings on the grounds of the new prison on U.S. 84.

CCA and town leaders met for CCA’s monthly safety meeting.

The meeting was in a building that will serve as a dormitory for inmates. Construction on the prison has continued to progress throughout the previous five months.

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“The facility is impressive, it is a huge undertaking to house, clothe and medicate 1,500 inmates,” Natchez Police Chief Mike Mullins said at Monday’s lunch.

The construction has continued to be steady and on schedule.

“We are so proud of the effort being made. We wanted the leaders and members of the community to see it,” CCA Managing Director Bart Verhulst said.

Leaders discussed the progress being made regarding construction and the safety measures the construction workers have practiced. The site, in which 250 people are employed, has gone without injury for 159 days.

“It’s a real testament to who is out here and it shows the quality of the workers,” Verhulst said.

The meeting also highlighted work done by the employees of the site that had little to do with construction. The workers raised over $12,000 each for the two local charities of their choice, The Fraternal Order of the Police and the Children’s Christmas Tree Fund.

“The results of the fundraising were beyond my wildest expectations,” CCA Senior Director of Real Estate Buddy Johns said. “They literally raised the money by passing their hat in between colleagues.”

Both charities were equally as excited.

“This check we received is outrageous; it’s unbelievable,” Christmas Tree Fund Chairman Caroline McDonough said. “It was a one-time donation, and it has really encouraged us to keep raising money for the fund.”