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Salt Lake City, Utah - The Utah State Prison will not be moving from Draper if cost estimates from the draft prison study hold true. The executive summary of the study to determine the economic feasibility of relocating the prison will be released today at an 11 a.m. news conference. Gov. Jon M. Huntsman, Jr. believes the study provides definitive answers about the issue.

"We will not move the prison based on cost," Huntsman said. "The money from the land where the prison is located would not nearly offset the costs."

Though the value of the Draper land where the prison currently stands on the west side of Interstate 15 is worth millions, the study shows it will cost millions more to move the facility than the current location is worth.

The draft report, prepared by a team of real estate, prison and appraisal experts, led by Wikstrom Economic & Planning Consultants, concludes that the estimated cost to relocate the prison functions from the Draper site and construct comparable prison facilities at another location exceeds the anticipated proceeds from the sale of the real estate by an estimated $372 million.

This conclusion is based on:

  • Market research analysis of alternative uses of the prison site;
  • An appraisal of future land-use scenarios;
  • Consideration of full or partial relocation options;
  • Cost estimates for construction, operation and transition related to each scenario.

 

"Costs associated with relocating the prison reflect the full spectrum of the prisoners held at the Draper facility, transition/moving costs and operating costs at alternative locations," said Karen Wikstrom, principal of and project manager of the Wikstrom consultant team.

The study revealed other valuable information about the future use of the acreage around the prison.

"We wanted a future projection for the prison, and we have one," Huntsman said, lauding the success of the study. "The prison can remain where it is, with room to grow for the prison and the state."

The prison sits on about 670 acres, though estimates indicate the Department of Corrections would only need 350 acres. The report concludes, "The prison property is a valuable asset of the State and the unused portion should not be left idle or simply sold as surplus property."

"In addition, when it is determined how much of the land in Draper adjacent to the State Prison is not needed by the Department of Corrections, the State should strategically plan for its long-term use for either state facilities or other uses such as a technology center as envisioned in the Governor's economic development planning," Wikstrom said.

An open house for public comment on the draft report will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 30, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Draper Elementary School, 1080 East 12660 South in Draper. The draft report is available on the State's Web site http://www.utah.gov/. Comments may also be submitted through Dec. 7 by e-mail to: "PrisonStudyComments@utah.gov" PrisonStudyComments@utah.gov.

Scott Carver, Executive Director of the Department of Corrections, expressed his appreciation for the thoroughness of the study in evaluating the economic impacts of relocating the prison.

The consultant team included: Wikstrom Economic & Planning Consultants, Inc., Carter Goble Associates, Inc., international specialists in corrections facilities planning and design; LECG, an international economics and finance consultancy firm; and DMJM, an international construction and engineering firm that is currently designing the expansion of the Gunnison Prison.

Work by the consultant team was overseen by the Division of Facilities and Construction, within the Department of Administrative Services. "We appreciate all the public interest to date and look forward to a final report from the consulting team after the public open house," stated D'Arcy Dixon Pignanelli, Executive Director of Administrative Services.

The 11 a.m. press conference will be held at the Department of Corrections Administration building.

Directions to Department of Corrections Administration Building: Take exit 288 from I-15 (Draper/Bluffdale) and go east of the Interstate. Turn north onto the frontage road. Take the first right at the sign that says Fred House Academy. Take the first left to head up to the four-story office building.

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