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Executive Council okays $2.4 million contract to design new N.H. women’s prison

The new women’s prison in Concord will be designed by a Maine firm that’s also designed four county jails in New Hampshire, including the new Merrimack County jail that opened in 2005.

The Executive Council yesterday voted, 5-0, to approve a $2.4 million design contract with SMRT Inc.

The new 224-bed prison will be built behind the current men’s prison off North State Street in Concord, and it will replace the state’s obsolete and deteriorating facility for female inmates in Goffstown.

SMRT is expected to complete its designs for the project in 2014, with construction beginning in 2015 and wrapping up in late 2016. The state intends to hire a construction firm midway through the planning process, so SMRT and that company can work together on the final design.

“They said we should be seeing construction contracts in a few months,” said Councilor Colin Van Ostern, a Concord Democrat.

The state’s two-year capital budget, passed this year by the Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Maggie Hassan, contains $38 million for the new prison.

Finally.

Well they did it. $2.4 million just for the design. This stuff is way out of control.

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