Workers are finishing up construction of the $162 million Colorado State Penitentiary II. At the same time, new staff who will be working there are undergoing training at the Colorado Department of Corrections Training Academy here.
"There will be a total of 229 employees working in one tower which will house 316 inmates. Some staff will be transferred from other prisons and some are new," said Katherine Sanguinetti, DOC spokeswoman.
The prison will be operated under a shared administration with Centennial Correctional Facility which is adjacent to the new prison. Susan Jones will be warden of the combined prisons.
Because the new prison will share not only administrators and other amenities such as food service operations, they will be jointly referred to as Centennial.
"We will rededicate CSPII as Centennial at a ceremony August 25," Sanguinetti explained.
All food will be made at the new prison cafeteria and shared with the existing Centennial prison. All totaled the combined Centennial prisons will house 652 inmates.
The current high-security Centennial houses 317 inmates and has a capacity of 336. The new prison has a capacity of 967 inmates but will only house 316 to start.
Sanguinetti said the 316 new beds will be filled quickly because of the state's pressing need for additional administrative-maximum security beds.
As the state finds more money in its budget to open the remainder of the new prison, it can house an additional 651 inmates, which will require another 270 employees to operate.
The state currently houses a total of 22,860 inmates at both state and private prisons.