Wyoming corrections chief: $85 million to fix Rawlins prison

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Cheyenne, Wyo. - The director of the Wyoming Department of Corrections says it will cost $85 million to fix structural problems at the state penitentiary in Rawlins.

The 15-year-old prison suffers from cracking walls and floors. Corrections Department Director Robert Lampert briefed state lawmakers on repair estimates Tuesday in Cheyenne.

The Joint Appropriations Committee endorsed Lampert's request for $7 million in the coming fiscal year to protect the prison's electrical system and a gymnasium roof.

Senate President Phil Nicholas says he's shocked by the $85 million repair estimate for the prison, which cost over $90 million to build. He says the state needs to consider other options, including possible construction of a new prison.

Nicholas says he plans to introduce a bill Tuesday to consolidate various state building programs and provide greater oversight.