The Union Recorder

December 12, 2013

CSH’s Bostick deal almost done

Kyle Collins
The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE —

Central State Hospital Local Redevelopment Authority (CSHLRA) Executive Director Mike Couch mentioned several exciting campus real estate activities for repurposing and job creation efforts during Tuesday’s Milledgeville City Council work session.

Couch informed City Council the former Bostick State Prison, closed since 2010, will soon have a tenant.

A corrections health care company, CorrectHealth, purchased the Bostick State Prison facility in October for a bargain $50,000 price tag.

CorrectHealth is still waiting to officially close on the property.

“Their architectural group is coming next week to look at the site, demolish the building and build what they are going to build there,” Couch said. “They intend to close as soon as the state says they can close. That’s our first real new industry out there, and it will be good.”

CorrectHealth’s initial plans are building a health care facility for extended geriatric client care. Whether the organization plans to serve paroled correctional or Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities populations isn’t yet confirmed.

The correctional health care group could add nearly 200 jobs.

“We fully support it,” Couch said. 

CorrectHealth currently provides health care programs to jails, prisons and youth detention centers serving more than 20 correctional facilities of local governments across the state of Georgia and the Southeast.

The entity works closely with the Georgia jail, sheriff’s and prison wardens associations, according to CorrectHealth’s website.

The Georgia Department of Corrections closed the 700-bed Bostick State Prison effective May 1, 2010 to save on DOC operational costs.

Bostick is an old 1950s dorm that was converted to a prison in 1987.  

The facility was considered a “non-enduring” infrastructure because it lacks the safety features of other state prisons and requires more staff to secure. The prison housed medium security inmates, as well as those with special needs.

• STEM academy could open by next summer

Central State Hospital’s Wilkes Building will soon be retrofitted as a hub for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. 

A former Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) laboratory director, Darrell Davis, wants the city to become a STEM education leader. With CSHLRA help, Davis hopes to have the Wilkes lab program ready to host local Baldwin County students by next summer.

“Darrell Davis signed his lease on the Wilkes Building,” Couch said in a Nov. 20 CSHLRA meeting. “He is insured and has the keys. Darrell’s goal is to have his first STEM explorers in class this coming July.”

The CAPS-Analytical Training Laboratory’s primary objective is to provide professional development for K-12 science educators and encourage students to seek STEM career fields.

Davis will begin development work next month.