Prison Transformation Underway
The site will be home to a new federal courthouse.
The sights and sounds of destruction spelled opportunity this morning. Governor Matt Blunt spoke at the event, and stressed the new growth and job opportunities this seventy-one million dollar project will bring to Missouri.
Construction workers at the site look forward to turning this eyesore into an attraction.
"it's a facility that has destinations for tourists, it has destinations for business, it has destinations for federal courts-people, state agencies," senior project manager Charlie Brzuchalski said. "There are just all kinds of possibilities that are just too numerous to even mention."
But the crews still have a long way to go before any trial is held here.
The courthouse will not be finished until fall of 2010.
The state penitentiary was built in the 1830's, and just behind some walls are loads of asbestos and lead paint. The construction crew will have to keep this in mind during the teardown phase.
The demolition team says it's confident the proper safety measures are being taken, and stress the end result is worth all the hard work.
"This is a really positive step, and I'm really appreciative of the state, city, and county taking the effort to redevelop this," Warren Prost of Asbestos Removal Services, Inc. said. "This will be a tremendous step forward for Jefferson City."
This step forward will be a long and difficult one, but crews say they can't wait to start rebuilding, brick by brick. Crews say the project is currently right on schedule and have not run into any problems.
No word yet on what other buildings will be put on the penitentiary site.