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Thompson & Litton Recognized
March 4, 2008

Thompson & Litton (T&L) was recognized by the American Council of Engineering Companies of Virginia with a 2008 Engineering Excellence Award for work on the Pocahontas State Correctional Center and related infrastructure projects. Attending the February 7, 2008 award gala at The Jefferson Hotel in Richmond were T&L’s clients and teaming partners. Vice President of Architecture, William A. Thompson III, and Project Coordinator, Rick Chitwood were in attendance to accept this honor.

The Pocahontas State Correctional Center (PSCC) is a newly constructed facility located on an abandoned coal surface mine in rural mountainous terrain. The Center has brought 350 much needed state jobs to an area which has historically experienced economic challenges including difficult accessibility issues. These factors presented significant challenges in planning and constructing this project and related development projects.

In addition to the $65 million capital projects developed onsite, three additional projects were an integral part of the successful PSCC project. While the correctional facility is the centerpiece, the full picture is incomplete without including these three essential projects. The PSCC access road, an upgraded Wastewater Treatment Plant, and development of Rt. 696 were interwoven from the beginning into the preliminary planning for the correctional facility complex.

The three infrastructure projects were prerequisites for a successful correctional center. The access road was a critical path item for the PSCC construction schedule because it had to be completed within the first six months to allow pre-cast concrete cells to be delivered to the site. In addition to providing sewer service to a new prison facility, the new Wastewater Treatment Plant needed to address an on-going notice of violations in the nearby Town from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and address current and future needs of several rural communities. Finally, development of Route 696 was an essential solution to the problem of prisoner transport. The existing narrow, winding road repeatedly crossed two state lines. The new roadway serves local residents and VDOC by giving them a shorter, more direct commute and keeping prisoner transport within the state. The needs of the community were met while providing solutions to requirements of several state and local agencies. Where an abandoned coal mine once languished, a robust economic development project is operational and significantly contributing to revitalization.

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