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Another Problem Discovered at New Iowa Prison

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FORT MADISON, Iowa -- Construction problems keep getting worse at Iowa's new prison in Fort Madison.

The Cedar Rapids Gazette reports the ventilation system in one of the buildings isn't working. That's on top of problems with the heating and cooling system, the smoke evacuation system, and a leaky roof.

The prison was supposed to cost $132 million but expenses have topped $166 million and they're still climbing.

The new prison was originally scheduled to open this spring, but because of the problems with construction officials still don’t know when inmates will be able to be transferred from the old prison.


  • Jim Benford

    I. for one am not surprised. Corruption is rampant again in the.Branstad administration. I wonder how many deals will be made under the table to fix this mess?

  • Clyde

    I guess I don’t see why Branstad is to blame on this going over budget. Seems like every building anyone builds anymore does. My queston is, when it’s bid, why they aren’t held to their bids?

    • John Smith

      Hadn’t you heard? We don’t have state employees to oversee such projects any more. We hire private sector firms for project management, now.

      It is a “cost-saving” measure instituted by this Governor so that he could fire THOSE state employees. Happened in early 2010, as I recall…

      So, now, there will be one more finger in the pointing circle. And, I reckon any number of law firms will end up with a long-term “project” of their own.

  • John Smith

    Uh, wasn’t the new prison “originally scheduled to open” WAY before “this spring”, WHO-TV News Staff Writer? Like, somewhere around the time that the Governor dedicated the building OVER A YEAR AGO?

    Can WHO-TV News not even manage to be THAT factual? Or, is this how you’ve chosen to compete for that phat FOX News demographic?

  • Ankeny Watcher

    Maybe the way to solve the problem of cost would be to let the state legislature pay for the overages out of their pockets for such inept control and oveersight

  • Sue

    those rails coming to a point kind of remind me of the Titanic

    only this is an ‘escape proof’ prison rather than an ‘unsinkable’ ship

  • witchrunner

    And why are the taxpayers paying for this? Isn’t there something in the contract that says that what is built has to work according to specifications?

    • John Smith

      I think that you’ll find contracts for a project of this size are a bit more complicated than that.

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