This photo shows Lemon Creek Correctional Center in Juneau. The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities is seeking a contractor for an estimated $5-10 million project to address structural repair and renovation at the Juneau prison. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

This photo shows Lemon Creek Correctional Center in Juneau. The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities is seeking a contractor for an estimated $5-10 million project to address structural repair and renovation at the Juneau prison. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

Juneau prison to undergo multimillion-dollar repair and renovation project

State seeks contractor for work estimated to cost between $5-10 million.

After “extreme wet weather” caused instability at certain locations at the aging Lemon Creek Correctional Center last fall, which prompted emergency repairs, the state is now seeking contractors to tackle an estimated $5-10 million project to address further structural repairs and renovations at the Juneau prison.

According to a request for proposals sought by the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, the state-funded project will include “structural repairs, interior renovations, and building systems upgrades” to the prison. The request for proposals closes on June 30 and the successful bidder is expected to begin construction in late July, according to the project schedule.

The repairs outlined in the project will be to the prison’s foundations, walls, floors, detention doors and cells, and will renovate the existing chapel area into a revised medical and dental layout.

The prison, which opened in 1969 and has a capacity of 226 inmates, serves as both a long-term and intake facility for men and women who are sentenced felons, and/or people awaiting arraignment, trial or sentencing, according to the Alaska Department of Corrections.

“It is necessary to take steps to mitigate repairs in an aging institution, and these repairs did not just begin; we have been working on the situation since late last year,” said DOC spokesperson Betsy Holley in an email response. “The LCCC has an aging infrastructure and the extreme wet weather last year caused some ground instability around a portion of the facility requiring repairs.”

Last fall it was revealed that about 20% of the people incarcerated at LCCC — around 45-50 people — were transferred from the Juneau prison to facilities in Southcentral Alaska as LCCC underwent “foundation emergency repairs.”

According to Holley, there are no plans to move additional inmates during the upcoming repairs and renovations to the prison, but noted “prisoner movement is a security issue and we will not compromise the security of our inmates or staff by disclosing details.” She said inmates previously relocated will be returned at an “appropriate time.”

Holley said the DOC expects to have the project’s construction phase substantially completed by August 2024.

• Contact reporter Clarise Larson at clarise.larson@juneauempire.com or (651)-528-1807.

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