Tallassee site could become the location for new state prison

(File) This 376 acre parcel of land on Rifle Range Road could be the site for one of the three new state prisons.

Governor Kay Ivey issued an update regarding the Alabama Prison Program today, Friday, Oct.2.

The locations for two other new prisons in the state were announced early in September and many were left wondering which of the two Elmore County sites would be chosen to construct a new prison, known as Facility Two.

"At the beginning of September, I announced the next phase of the Alabama Prison Program, including the successful Developer Teams and the proposed sites for the construction of Facilities One and Three. Multiple locations were under review for Facility Two, therefore, the site location was not shared at that time. We are pleased to announce that the Alabama Department of Corrections intends to enter into negotiations with the CoreCivic team (CoreCivic; Caddell Construction; DLR Group; and R&N Systems Design) to construct Facility Two at a proposed site in Elmore County near AL-229/Rifle Range Road," Ivey wrote in a statement regarding the Alabama Prison System.

"As stated in the Request for Proposal, the ADOC intends to enter into long-term lease agreements for these three facilities. As such, the confidential negotiation period will continue to ensure and secure the best possible value for the state. The ADOC anticipates construction to begin in early 2021 and that approximately 3,900 construction jobs will be created in Elmore County."

"I am pleased with the forward progression of this pivotal initiative and look forward to financial close, which is anticipated to occur in late 2020," Ivey said.

According to the Mayor of Tallassee, Johnny Hammock, this decision will benefit Tallassee and the surrounding areas.

"I'm ecstatic about it," Hammock said. "It will be a lot of job creation. Almost 4,000 jobs during construction at this mega-prison. That will be a huge economic impact, just with the construction of the facility."

Hammock said the location of this facility will provide a vast workforce for the state.

"I think it's huge not only for Tallassee but Macon County, Shorter, Tuskegee, places in Tallapoosa County like Reeltown, Montgomery County, Montgomery, Pike Road, Auburn. I think the location will allow the state of Alabama to pull from a large population from the River Region," he said.

Hammock said once the prison is operational, the impacts will continue to benefit Tallassee and surrounding areas.

"Once it is up and running, the utility sales for the City of Tallassee is going to be a game-changer. People will build houses here and things like that," he said.

The nearby Tallassee Industrial Park is already home to large manufacturers like Neptune, Hanil, GKN, and more. The new prison will create even more opportunities in the county.

"The main thing is that we kept the jobs in Elmore County," Hammock said. "The Department of Corrections is the second leading job creator behind GKN. Now, we have the top two job creators on this side of the county. I think that is huge for us."

On Sept. 3, Ivey and ADOC announced the successful developer teams who submitted proposals in May in response to the ADOC’s Request for Proposal to improve the state’s prison infrastructure.

Facility One: Alabama Prison Transformation Partners (Star America; BL Harbert International; Butler-Cohen; Arrington Watkins Architects; and Johnson Controls, Inc.) with a proposed site located near AL-139/CR-2 in Bibb County.

Facility Three: CoreCivic (CoreCivic; Caddell Construction; DLR Group; and R&N Systems Design) with a proposed site located near Bell Fork Road in Escambia County.