The doors of the new Chillicothe Correctional Center opened for public tours on Saturday with a steady stream of visitors funneling in and out throughout the day.



In all, there were 2,210 people who visited the facility, built by the state for a cost of $120 million.

Once clearing through security — no cell phones, cameras, bags, etc., were allowed — visitors walked through the doors which opened into a massive complex covering 55 acres and including facilities equipped to house and care for more than 1,600 persons.


The doors of the new Chillicothe Correctional Center opened for public tours on Saturday with a steady stream of visitors funneling in and out throughout the day.

In all, there were 2,210 people who visited the facility, built by the state for a cost of $120 million.
Once clearing through security — no cell phones, cameras, bags, etc., were allowed — visitors walked through the doors which opened into a massive complex covering 55 acres and including facilities equipped to house and care for more than 1,600 persons.

“A lot of people were amazed at the size of the facility,” said Chillicothe Correctional Center Warden Jennifer Miller. “You don’t get full appreciation of how big it is from street. The design is compact, yet it occupies a lot of space.”

The facility’s design is campus style with four 256-bed regular housing units (with 4-person rooms), a 240-bed step down unit (with two person rooms) a 76-bed administrative segregation unit, a 96-bed mental health unit, and a 200-bed reception and diagnostic unit.

In all, there are six single-story and eight two-story structures on site with the largest being the massive 126,000 square-foot central services building. Inside this building are classrooms, religious areas, culinary arts, kitchen facilities, dining halls and laundry services.

While visitors did not have access to the entire correctional center, they were able to see many areas. Among stops were the administration building, the receiving and diagnostic unit, the medical services area, the administrative segregation unit (where offenders are isolated for various reasons), central services building, and the training building. Visitors were also able to tour housing units 7 and 8.

The warden noted that many of the favorable comments made were in regards to the food service area. The new facility has its own bakery, two convection ovens (large enough to walk into), a 140-quart mixer, four 80-gallon kettles, a 60-gallon kettle, an industrial potato peeler capable of peeling a 50-pound bag of potatoes in minutes, a refrigerator measuring 27 feet by 50 feet, a freezer (42 feet by 56 feet), a thaw box (18 feet by 29 feet), a day freezer (12 feet by 18 feet) and a day refrigerator (11 feet by 18 feet).

Miller said she was pleased with the day’s events and appreciated having the facility open for public tours especially since the Chillicothe community had actively supported the correctional center’s expansion.

The public, too, appreciated the opportunity...........