Press-Republican

Business

March 30, 2014

Prison-reuse ideas vary

CHATEAUGAY — A state report found Chateaugay Correctional Facility could make a good site for senior housing, a college campus or a high-tech-company.

An 88-page reuse plan submitted to Empire State Development also suggests if the state prison closes as scheduled on July 26, it could be used for an agricultural-processing plant, a call center, a medical facility, a public or private-office hub, a retail and hospitality destination, an event space or entertainment venue.

On the other hand, the study says, “the greatest unknown to repurposing the site is not the uses that the site can handle; it is the interest from the private market.

“Given the dearth of institutional and major-commercial users surrounding this particular location, it is difficult to ascertain market interest at this time.”

EXPECTED TO CLOSE

Chateaugay is one of four facilities Gov. Andrew Cuomo expects to close this year although an effort continues to persuade the governor to keep it open.

The medium-security prison has 240 beds that house repeat parole violators.

It opened in 1990 at a cost of about $47.1 million and was the State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision’s first comprehensive alcohol-and-substance-abuse treatment program for inmates.

It was reclassified for parole violators in May 2005.

LOCAL SUGGESTIONS

Cuomo made the news public on July 26, 2013, that Chateaugay Correctional, McGregor Correctional in Saratoga County, Butler Correctional in Wayne County and Monterey Shock Facility in Schuyler County would close within a year.

Plans began immediately to reassign correction officers, sergeants and lieutenants to other facilities, based on seniority, which, as of March 5, left Chateaugay with just 46 working security jobs and 15 in civilian positions.

State Corrections Law states that a report about possible reuse of targeted correctional facilities must be completed six months before its closure date.

Last summer’s announcement was followed by a town meeting in December, when local business and development stakeholders discussed alternate uses for the Chateaugay site, which has 30 buildings on 100 acres and consists of 100,000 square feet of space.

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