GEO Opens 1,500-bed Texas Facility

LAREDO, Texas — GEO Group announced the opening of the 1,500-bed Rio Grande Detention to house detainees for the U.S. Marshals Service.

The 277,000-square-foot detention center opened in October and the Florida-based private prison operator expects to complete the intake of detainees by the end of 2008.

The five-year contract, which includes three five-year renewal options, guarantees an occupancy rate of 50 percent. At full occupancy, the $90 million facility is expected to generate approximately $36 million in annual operating revenues.

The Rio Grande detention project, which is situated on a 150-acre site, was a design-build collaboration between Cromwell Architects Engineers Inc., of Little Rock, Ark., and Austin-based White Construction Company.

Housing units at the detention center, which is composed of nine buildings, were constructed using a pre-engineered building structure and lightweight tilt-up design.

In other news, the Texas Board of Criminal Justice awarded Management and Training Corp. facility contracts valued at more than $60 million.

The Utah-based company will operate the 500-bed B.M. Moore Correctional Center, the 518-bed Diboll Correctional Center, and the 1,040-bed Estes Correctional Center, beginning January 2009.

The contracts could be worth an estimated $166 million, should the state exercise options through 2015, according to the company.