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MSP tours set to resume Monday

Young viewers peek inside Housing Unit 3’s empty cells in September 2012 while others look over the photos in the prison-themed art and photography competition during the Missouri State Penitentiary “Inside the Walls” 176th anniversary event.

Young viewers peek inside Housing Unit 3’s empty cells in September 2012 while others look over the photos in the prison-themed art and photography competition during the Missouri State Penitentiary “Inside the Walls” 176th anniversary event. Photo by Kris Wilson.

Tours of the old Missouri State Penitentiary in Jefferson City are ready to begin Monday, after months of the site being closed.

Tours of the old prison site were temporarily suspended at the end of September, and the remainder of the 2013 tour season was eventually canceled because of mold found at the site. After the announcement, the city and state agreed to split the estimated $2 million cost of repairs and mold remediation at MSP. The $2 million has provided for cleanup of hazardous material, window repairs and window closures in Housing Units 1, 3, 4 and the gas chamber, and roof replacements in each unit.

The city’s investment resulted in a long-term contract with the Jefferson City Convention and Visitors Bureau for the facility. Previously, the CVB operated on 11-month contracts, but the new agreement allows for a 15-year contract, with the option for two, five-year extensions.

The tours beginning Monday will be modified history tours. The modified tours will allow access to Housing Units 1 and 4, and the gas chamber, while the state continues mold remediation and repair work. The CVB has said all remediation is expected to be complete by late June and full tours would begin July 1.

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