There’s been another setback in plans to move inmates into the new Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison.
First, the harsh winter slowed construction work and delayed the transfer of inmates. Now, Department of Corrections spokesperson Fred Scaletta says the new facility’s heating and cooling system is acting up.
Around 550 of the state’s toughest criminals are housed in the old Iowa State Pen, originally built in 1839. It’s still unclear when they might be moved into the prison, which has room for 800 inmates.
The geothermal system in the new administration building is operating properly, according to Scaletta. Several administrative staff have already occupied their new offices. The new prison carries a price tag of roughly $130 million. It’s unclear how much more will need to be spent on the heating and cooling system.
In October of last year, reporters were given a tour of the new Iowa State Penitentiary. At the time, corrections officials said inmates would be transferred into the new facility in March 2014.