June 28, 2013

Former prison to be sold at auction

Lyon Mountain Facility will be put up for sale on July 10

LYON MOUNTAIN — The former Lyon Mountain Correctional Facility will go to the highest bidder next month in a public auction.

It could be a steal.

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“The price is certainly right,” potential bidder Len Gokey said Thursday during a tour of the facility. “But I’m not sure what you could do with it.”

The property will be up for auction on Wednesday, July 10, with a minimum bid of $140,000.


The site features 23 buildings, totaling about 91,000 square feet, on 27 acres of land in the hamlet of Lyon Mountain in the Town of Dannemora on Route 374.

The prison, which used to be the former Lyon Mountain High School, was closed in January 2011 as part of a statewide cutback in prison facilities. It had been operational as a medium-security prison since 1985.

State and local officials welcomed potential buyers at the third and final open house Thursday with the hopes of luring in a buyer.


“It would be great if we can get someone in here to do something with this and get it back on the tax rolls,” said Town Supervisor Americo “Ves” Pivetta, who used to attend school in the main building.

Gokey was one of a handful who have stopped by to check out the site. A former construction-business owner who lives in nearby Chateaugay Lake, he said he could see the property being used for perhaps a senior-citizen community, a depot of some sort, for a business or being broken up into several small-business operations.


The state cleared out the buildings of most equipment and furniture and left it pretty much empty for the sale.

The heat has been turned off, in a cost-savings measure, which has led to peeled paint and musty, damp conditions in most buildings.

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