CHEMUNG COUNTY, NY (WENY) -- The future of the Southport Correctional Facility was a topic of discussion at the monthly meeting of the Chemung County Industrial Development Agency and Capital Resource Corporation on Thursday morning.

The IDA is contemplating having the former prison demolished and is working with Fagan Engineers to get an estimate for a partial or total demolition. The former New York State supermax prison facility opened in 1988 and closed in March 2022 along with a several other prisons because of a shrinking prison population.

"The plan is, if there is a plan, we have to do a couple of things. One, we have to find out what the budget is going to be for an all or partial demolition," said CCIDA Executive Director, Joe Roman.

According to a document from the New York State Prison Redevelopment Commission, there are 43 buildings on the property, and covers 408 acres of land.

 

Roman said once the IDA has the information on a demo plan, they would need to go back to the state to potentially get financial assistance with the demolition.

"Concurrently, … in my opinion, once we have some positive movements from the state, I think at that time we [would] need to start working on a plan and get some monies for a plan [for] what we’re going to do once that site we have the demo done," said Roman.

Roman said the IDA or another willing organization could take over the property.

"We’d be willing to come in there as the IDA or as another entity and take that property, but we’re going to need some assistance with those demo costs. I don’t know if we could spend (an estimated) one, two, or three million to demo that thing. We certainly don’t have the resources," said Roman. 

Right now, this is a very preliminary discussion and nothing has been officially decided.