Ribbon Cutting at Northumberland County Prison

COAL TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- It's been more than three and a half years since the Northumberland County Prison was destroyed by fire, but on Wednesday, the ribbon was cut on the new facility.

Northumberland County officials plan to have it open and running by mid-September.

January 14, 2015 is a day that's hard to forget for many people in Northumberland County. Inmates filed out of the prison near Sunbury as the Northumberland County Prison was destroyed by fire.

Three and a half years later, officials cut the ribbon, symbolizing the opening of the new Northumberland County Prison.

County Commissioners Rick Shoch and Sam Schiccatano are two of the officials who worked to open the new prison. After going back and forth between properties, commissioners settled on a spot near Shamokin.

"This area here is kind of isolated. I think it's the perfect place for a prison," said Joe Klebon.

It is the site of the former Northwestern Academy, a juvenile facility.

"Compared to where they were originally going to build it, compared to what they've got here with all the buildings and what they paid, you can't beat it," Ed Griffiths said.

Commissioners tell Newswatch 16 the final cost of the prison was $32 million. It will house nearly 300 inmates, including between 60 and 80 women. The facility also includes a 65-bed drug rehabilitation facility.

"When it's all said and done, something that's desperately needed for this region. I think that's why we saw such great support from all the other counties," said Northumberland County Commissioner Rick Shoch.

The commissioners would not say when they are moving the inmates in but said the Northumberland County Prison is expected to open mid-September.