Renovating high-security ACI facility appears best for cost savings

West Bay

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — With the release of part of a consultant’s report, the state of Rhode Island is facing a massive renovation of the high-security prison facility at the Adult Correctional Institutions (ACI) in Cranston.

The state Department of Administration released a section of the report, still being compiled by consultants CGL Companies, “in order to get a broader view of the state’s options,” according to spokeswoman Brenna McCabe.

McCabe said the report shows renovation is the most cost-effective approach, “but we are open to further discussion about the Governor’s proposal.”

Last month, the Brotherhood of Correctional Officers union ran advertisements pushing for the facility to not be shut down temporarily for the renovation, as was proposed by Governor Gina Raimondo’s budget. The union’s president told Eyewitness News that the negative impact would be likely to be a “loss-of-life situation.”

Raimondo responded that temporary closure might not be necessary at all and that plans are still being mapped out.

The CGL 31-page analysis on either replacing entirely or renovating the current high-security facility boils down to greater operational savings over the course of 30 years.

Building brand new and renovating both would cost about $75.5 million, but between electricity, staffing, and other costs, operational savings for building brand-new would be $101.5 million over 30 years, while savings for renovating would be $117.3 million over 30 years, meaning renovating would save an extra $16 million.

The rest of the report is expected from CGL later this summer.

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