By TRACY HARMON CANON CITY - Colorado State Penitentiary II will not be the red brick beauty on the outside like its predecessor, but the state's newest prison will have an enviable foundation and some state-of-the-art amenities no other prison has on the inside.
THE PUEBLO CHIEFTAIN
Construction of the $162 million administrative-maximum security prison is well under way at the East Canon Prison Complex with 60 percent of the foundation work already complete. Motorists traveling on U.S. 50 east of Canon City will begin to see quite a bit of activity starting Thursday.
"We will have a 250-ton, 220-foot-tall crane, arrive here Wednesday on eight trucks. Once it's pieced together, it will lift Twin-Ts up to 15 feet wide and add them onto the foundation, then the wall panels will go up," said Mark Crisman of Jacobs, who is working as project manager. "Right now we are putting forms up with some smaller cranes, then we pump cement into them to form the foundation." The foundation will be 22 feet deep and is anchored into bedrock by 480 pillars that are drilled at least 24 feet into the ground, Crisman said.
CSPII will be a plain gray structure and won't have the attractive red brick exterior of its older sister prison, mainly due to fiscal cuts that will keep the prison project on budget, Crisman said.
After the foundation is complete in October, 967 steel cells, all made by inmates working for Colorado Correctional Industries in the nearby Fremont prison metal shop, will start to be placed inside the prison in November.
Each cell is constructed with a box designed to hold a computer screen. Via that state-of-the-art terminal, inmates will get educational programming, possibly be able to order canteen items and the computer terminals could also be used to facilitate visits.
CSPII will be connected by an underground tunnel to its neighboring prison, the high-security Centennial prison, so the two facilities can share laundry and food services.
The Pueblo Chieftain