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Officials plan for new surveillance at Centre prison

BELLEFONTE — A video surveillance replacement project will be taking place at the Centre County Correctional Facility.

During the Tuesday meeting of the Centre County Board of Commissioners, an agreement with the CDI Architects Group LLC was approved, a contract which will provide the county with bidding documents that will allow the county to competitively bid the surveillance project. As part of the agreement, CDI Architects, doing business as L.R. Kimball, will also provide bid review, review of shop drawings and inspection of the final construction.

According to correctional facility warden Christopher Shell, the contract total for the project is $8,000, which includes site visits for bid review meetings, construction, and inspections. Afterward, there will be an additional $500 per visit charge.

At the request of the Centre County Prison Board of Inspectors, a task force was formed to take a look at the current video surveillance system at the correctional facility, according to county administrator Margaret Gray. Due to the complexity of the system and the various systems already in place, the task force determined that a replacement surveillance system was needed.

Shell said that CDI Architects designed the drawings of the prison and already knew the building’s infrastructure very well. Since the firm has prior knowledge of the prison’s wiring, it will save the county some money, he said.

“After the project is completed, they will come back and do a full inspection to make sure everything is finalized up to our standards,” Shell said.

In other business, Centre County entrepreneurs have another opportunity to further their businesses.

According to Commissioner Mark Higgins, Ben Franklin Technology Partners is having a “Big Idea” contest for entrepreneurs in twelve counties, including Centre and counties to the south, west and north of Centre. The first place winner will take home $50,000 in cash and $16,000 worth of services. Services include access to a pre-seed investment that is valued up to $10,000, a one-year pass to marketing seminars, and free consultation on how to access federal research and development grant money.

Application deadline for the contest is Oct. 2 by 5 p.m. Finalists will be selected four days after the deadline, Higgins said.

Judging will begin on Nov. 9, with the final event to take place on Nov. 16. More information can be found online at https://cnp.benfranklin. org/2017-big-idea-contest/.

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