Local News

City: Boylan Heights residents told of planned prison project

Posted August 12, 2008 2:12 p.m. EDT

— City officials are defending themselves from charges made by Boylan Heights residents that their neighborhood wasn't informed about a planned expansion at Central Prison.

Construction on a $151 million hospital and mental facility at the prison began last month, and some residents complained that crews removed a number of trees that provided a buffer between the maximum-security prison and the neighborhood.

The project has been in the design phase for several years and was approved as part of last year's state budget. The city held a public hearing on the site plan for the project last year, but residents now complain they had little notice about the construction.

City officials said they held a public hearing about the project on June 5, 2007, and that they mailed letters to nearby residents to inform them about the hearing. The city also advertised the hearing in the newspaper and posted a sign along Western Boulevard about the hearing for two weeks, officials said.

The Citizens Advisory Council in the Boylan Heights area also was informed of the proposed prison building project, and a map and other information about the prison's plans were posted on Raleigh's Web site, officials said.

Central Prison's new buildings will replace outdated health facilities that totaled 230 beds. Construction is scheduled for completion in 2013.