Balfour Beatty will deliver a roughly $320-million state prison for Georgia, part of a plan by Gov. Brian Kemp to modernize correctional facilities in the state, the firm said July 12. 

Design and preconstruction services for the 3,000-inmate facility are set to start immediately and construction will start later this year. Balfour Beatty is serving as construction manager at risk and engaging early in the programming and design of the new prison. 

Alongside the prison, the firm will construct housing, administration, programming, general and vocational education, medical, intake and other related facilities. Balfour Beatty is working on behalf of the Georgia Dept. of Corrections, Georgia State Financing and Investment Commission and Georgia Building Authority. 

The department says the state is focusing designs for new prisons on smaller facilities that discontinue the use of large-scale cell blocks in favor of 100-unit “pods.”

In early 2022, Kemp proposed spending $600 million to replace four outdated facilities by opening two new prisons, including constructing a 3,000-bed facility, according to Georgia Public Broadcasting

Ultimately, he proposed a $1.44 billion budget for the corrections department in fiscal year 2023, including an additional $167.7 million for the building agency to manage facility acquisitions and construction, according to the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute, and most of its spending in the budget, $600 million, is for new prison construction.

Georgia currently has one of the largest prison systems in the country, responsible for serving almost 52,000 prisoners and employing 10,500, according to the state, with 34 state prisons, 21 county prisons, 12 transitional centers and four private prisons. 

The facility will provide a "highly efficient, state-owned and operated prison system that meets the evolving needs of correctional services," Balfour Beatty said in a press announcement