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Published: Thursday, 2/7/2008

Crumbling conditions may prevent Lima prison from reopening


LIMA, Ohio The shuttered state prison in Lima has leaky roofs and cracked floors, making lawmakers doubt whether it can be reopened.

Ohio prisons director Terry Collins said three or four new prisons would be needed to help with inmate overcrowding.

A committee considering options for reopening the Lima Correctional Institution said at a Wednesday meeting that extensive repairs could cost up to $4.8 million.

Other problems include crumbling plaster, saturated walls and the threat of asbestos. Parts of the facility were built in 1915.

Former Gov. Bob Taft closed the prison in 2003 to save $25 million. Gov. Ted Strickland will hear the study committee s final assessment by April 1.

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