WINDHAM, Maine — Mild temperatures have helped speed up construction on the new women’s re-entry center in Windham. The project is currently ahead of schedule after the Maine Department of Corrections (MDOC) broke ground in November, according to WGME CBS 13, a local news source.
The new 72-bed facility will house women in the last years of their sentences and help them transition successfully to the community as well as help ease state prison overcrowding. The $10 million, 24,000-square-foot facility is being built on the undeveloped eastern side of a 108-acre, MDOC-owned parcel that already houses one other correctional facility. The project includes a range of housing levels across three medium-security units, a 40-space parking lot, new driveways and drop off areas, a delivery loop, new sidewalks and the extension of existing utilities. The facility will also offer more rehabilitative programs and assisted living beds for aging inmates.
MDOC officials worked with architectural firm SMRT Inc. of Portland, Maine and S.W. Cole Engineering Inc. of Bangor, Maine to develop project plans. Pulitzer/Bogard & Associates LLC of Lido Beach, N.Y., and SMRT Inc. completed the project’s feasibility study last February 2015. That study concluded that the re-entry center would provide a positive economic benefit to the state and will enable MDOC to do “more with less.” The team also found that alternatives to constructing the re-entry facility would be more expensive and that the project will positively realign the system capacity.
Officials added that the new facility is going to be able to serve more inmates than they originally thought. A spokesperson for MDOC said they expected for the project to be completed in March 2017, but because of the warmer weather, they could be done as early as December 2016, reported WGME CBS 13.