Construction on the Junee Correctional Centre’s 480 maximum-security bed expansion is underway as the first modular accommodation cells arrive on site.
CPB Contractors’ plans are kept tightly under-wraps for security.
However, it can be revealed the 480 beds will be built in four blocks, with the expansion also including the construction of a segregation unit, industries block, new administration building and central gatehouse with a large glass wall facilitating surveillance.
Upgrades and extensions to the existing visitors’ area, kitchen and medical clinic will also be required to accommodate the extra bodies.
The new facility will be surrounded by two layers of 4.2 metre-high macem fencing, currently being erected, which has been made by inmates at Cessnock.
Member for Cootamundra, Stephanie Cooke, visited the construction site on Tuesday morning.
"The temporary gatehouse and administration buildings have been delivered and are expected to be operational shortly," she said.
"Since opening in 1993, Junee Correctional Centre has been a good neighbour in the Riverina community and we intend to maintain and build on that relationship as the centre expands," Ms Cooke said.
There are currently around 90 people on the site, with the contractors making good use of local labor in the project.
Electricians from Albury, concreters from Wagga, SMC Concrete from Junee and T-Line steel have all been employed for various jobs.
Ms Cooke said the project will significantly boost the local economy.
"This will have a positive impact on the Junee and Wagga Wagga economies as the tradies and other construction workers will shop, eat and stay locally," she said.
Project management staff estimate about a third of external sub-contractors are staying locally in Junee, with around 300 workers to be employed throughout construction alone.
Ms Cooke was unable to reveal whether any additional police will be employed as the centre grows, putting her trust in the findings of the current state re-engineering program.
“If it comes out that more is required I’ll absolutely fight for that but I’m not an expert in operational policing matters so I will be guided by the deputy commissioner on that,” she said.
Ms Cooke encouraged residents to get in touch with her or the jail’s community consultative committee to voice any concerns they may have.
The $220 million project is due to be completed in late 2019.