One little-heard provision in this General Assembly's session work: the closure of a number of minimum-security correctional facilities throughout the state as part of a cost-cutting move that could shave almost $11 million from the state's spending line this year.
Among the four facilities impacted, per the N&O: the Durham Correctional Center, a facility that houses more than 200 inmates and which sits just to the northeast of the Horton Rd./Guess Rd. intersection in North Durham, right near a few shopping plazas and backing up to the popular West Point on the Eno city park.
With its October closure, it turns out a small piece of Durham County history will come to an end:
In 1925, Durham County built a prison for $95,000 to house 150 inmates. Constructed of brick and surrounded by a heavy wire stockade, the three-story structure was noted as being the best planned prison of its kind in the state. On the first floor was dormitory space for inmates, as well as a dining hall. The second and third floors provided space for offices and staff. The building was heated by steam and showers were in the basement.
Durham was one of 51 county prisons for which the state assumed responsibility with the passage of the Conner bill in 1931. It was one of 61 field unit prisons renovated or built during the late 1930's to house inmates who worked building roads.
No word on what the future of the site is, i.e., whether the state will hold on to this little chunk of land or sell it off for development. In the latter case, even with the current downturn in residential and commercial development, one wouldn't doubt that there might be people lining up to buy it.
Rare, after all, is the prison facility that's zoned for some of the better schools in any community's school district.
BCR's question: if someone did redevelop the site, would they keep the name Prison Camp Road? We're just saying.