LEAVENWORTH, Kan. — Kansas leaders broke ground Monday on the new federal prison in Leavenworth that will be completed in 2026.

The new prison will replace the existing 126-year-old building that officials say is severely outdated inside.

“While the penitentiary’s stone walls remain as sturdy as ever, it’s internal components, the mechanical, electrician, and plumbing have long ago reached their end of useful life,” U.S. Senator Jerry Moran said. “And second, the existing facility was built at a time when philosophies of incarceration were different than they are today.”

He says the new FCI Leavenworth located just to the east of the old facility, will further help fulfill the DOJ’s mission to protect public safety, provide safe and humane conditions for the incarcerated, and for them to make positive contributions to society once they’ve served their time.

“Greater access to educational, vocational, and fellowship opportunities for incarcerated individuals. As well as activities and services for physical well-being and mental health,” Kansas Governor Laura Kelly said. “The new facility will allow the bureau to implement best practices that will modernize its overall approach to incarceration and rehabilitation. Making this prison safer for both the people who work here and the people who will be incarcerated here.”

Congress appropriated 532 million dollars for the construction and will allow space for more than 1,500 prisoners.

“With state-of-the-art space for programming, treatment, education, work, ability for them to connect with their families in a more normalized environment,” Director of Federal Bureau of Prisons Colette Peters said. “That will make our prison safer and will allow those in our care and custody to come home and back to our communities better served and better integrated.”

Once the old facility is empty, project leaders say it could be used for BOP training or as a historical museum site, but no final decisions have been made.