| News

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Hempfield prison site closer to market

Email Newsletters

Sign up for one of our email newsletters.
By Richard Gazarik
Tuesday, March 4, 2014, 11:45 p.m.

The state will subdivide the site of the former state prison in Hempfield as the first step toward selling the 123-acre property to the highest bidder, according to the Department of General Services.

Spokesman Troy Thompson said the site must be subdivided because the state needs to exclude a state police facility on the property from the sale process. The building was intended to be a state police communications center, but it was never opened. It houses a regional crime lab.

Thompson said there is no timetable to sell the land. He said the subdivision plan is the next step for getting it ready to be put out for bids.

Hempfield Supervisor Doug Weimer said the subdivision is necessary for the state to retain ownership of the crime lab. The plan will go before the township planning commission for preliminary approval and then to the board of supervisors for final approval.

“We're more than willing to work with the state,” Weimer said. “We'll expedite the process so if the state has a buyer, they'll be ready to go.”

The State Correctional Institution in Hempfield and the prison in Cresson, Cambria County, closed last summer as part of a cutting measure that Department of Corrections officials contend will save taxpayers $23 million. Officials cited the declining prison population and the higher cost of operating two of the state's oldest prisons. The Hempfield facility opened in 1969.

The closing of the Westmoreland facility meant the loss of 400 jobs.

The 2,500 inmates at the two institutions were transferred to a new $200 million prison in Centre County. Corrections officers were reassigned to other facilities within the Department of Corrections.

Richard Gazarik is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reachedat 724-830-6292

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.



Show commenting policy

Most-Read Westmoreland

  1. Excela, Pitt-Greensburg team on legacy videos for those in twilight of lives
  2. Puppies’ eyes glued shut, South Huntingdon animal shelter says
  3. Keystone Bakery closes Greensburg store
  4. Harrold Middle School students hit new high with food drive
  5. Mt. Pleasant plan has no call for tax increase
  6. Greensburg still fighting waterlogged Lynch Field, may add drainage
  7. Mt. Pleasant Guard unit may be deployed again
  8. Witnesses recount Franklin Regional stabbing
  9. Dining at Applebee’s helps Jacobs Creek Area Faith in Action
  10. Hempfield property tax addition pushed as township’s fire departments struggle
  11. Youngwood officials defend rules for rentals