Work center Superintendent Alan Miller uses his tie to explain the center's impact. Behind him are County Mayor Ernest Burgess, state legislators, county commissioners and employees.
When the ribbon was cut at the Correctional Work Center Friday, Superintendent Alan Miller wore his tie depicting astronaut Neil Armstrong landing on the moon in 1969.
“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” Armstrong said.
Miller compared Armstrong’s words to the 10-plus year project to build a new correctional work center, saying it was “great step” for Rutherford Countians.
County Mayor Ernest Burgess cut the red ribbon to officially open the $9 million work center off South Church Street. The 87,000-square-foot facility will house 256 inmates. It replaces the cramped correctional work center built in the early 1940s.
The original project for building the work center and Rutherford County Juvenile Services Center was $40 million but was pared down to $23 million, the mayor said.
Burgess wishes the county didn’t have to fund a work center but “people make the wrong choices.” He hopes the work center will be a place for people to turn their lives around.
More than 200 inmates obtained their GED while incarcerated at the work center, he said.
The center will offer a Community Sanctions program where inmates such as parents who haven’t paid child support will stay at the work center at night while work during the day.
Burgess recognized the contractors, architects, County Commissioners who approved the project, the work center board and taxpayers who funded it.
County Commissioner Rick Hall, who chairs the Property Management Committee, thanked former commissioner and chair Faye Elam who supported the project in her term.
As a law enforcement officer, Hall said he was proud to see the work center and Juvenile Services Center be completed.
Inmates were expected to move into the new center next week. The Juvenile Services Center is expected to open in June.