State preparing to sell prisons

While the former tenants at the Cresson state prison are long gone, state officials are hoping to find a new use for the 451-acre property when the former prison is put up for sale.

Potential buyers interested in the state’s two former correctional facilities – Greensburg and Cresson – will be able to bid on the properties once the Department of General Services completes its fair market value appraisals, said Troy Thompson, Department of General Services spokesman.

“We are preparing to have them sold,” Thompson said of the Cresson and Greensburg prisons.

It could be anywhere from six months to a year before the prisons officially hit the market, Thompson said.

The Cresson prison is expected to cost the state about $2 million in carrying costs for each year the facility remains vacant, Thompson said.

The 123-acre Greensburg facility will cost the state about $100,000 per year, he said.

Other properties currently up for sale through the department include the former Tyrone and Altoona National Guard armories, a former hospital in Allentown and a youth development center in Newcastle, Thompson said.

“We’re making those larger properties a priority,” Thompson said.

The two state prisons officially closed June 30, said Susan McNaughton, corrections spokeswoman.

The last prisoners left Cresson on May 22 and Greensburg on June 3, McNaughton said.

The Legislature and governor recently approved the sale of 37 vacant properties, Thompson said. Of those, 27 properties – including the Cresson and Greensburg prisons – will be up for public sale once their appraisals are completed.

Vacant properties for sale through the Department of General Services can be found by clicking “solicitations” and searching for “real estate” at

Mirror Staff Writer Zach Geiger is at 946-7535.