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The Jefferson City Convention and Visitors Bureau is making progress toward repairs to Housing Unit 4 at the Missouri State Penitentiary.

CVB is working with the Missouri Office of Administration Facilities Management, Design and Construction to put out a bid for roof repairs, CVB Executive Director Diane Gillespie said.

She estimated the project will cost $600,000. The goal, she said, is to start construction June 1 and complete it by Oct. 1.

Funding for repairs comes from the tours CVB conducts on the property.

Housing Unit 4 was built in 1868 for Civil War criminals, Gillespie said, and it is the oldest existing building on the property.

During the May 2019 tornado, part of the roof was severely damaged by the wind.

Gillespie said the remaining roof was torn down to help stabilize the infrastructure of the building.

"This building is well over 100 years old, and to have it sit exposed to the harsh seasonal elements leads to its deterioration," she said. "It is our mission to preserve this building to continue to share its historical importance with visitors."

Housing Unit 4 is not part of this season's tours, Gillespie said, since the inside of the structure isn't safe.

Visitors will still learn about the building and see the outside of it but cannot go inside.

"Putting a new roof on will allow visitors to explore the interior of the building in all its glory once again," Gillespie said.

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