ST. CLOUD -- A $19,000,000 renovation project at the St. Cloud Correctional Facility can get started after state lawmakers approved the money in the bonding bill.

The prison acts as the new prisoner intake facility for the entire state of Minnesota and Warden Collin Gau says they need a more efficient and safe processing area. Gau says they are taking in 350-400 prisoners every month and transferring out about as many so it's created a need for the new space.

The project will also include a new loading dock and warehouse and laundry area.

Gau says the project will take three years to complete because of the complex nature of moving the services around. He also says construction projects of this nature provide security challenges for them because certain areas will be breached during construction.  He also says they must inventory all tools and equipment coming in and going out of the facility.

This is the second phase of the renovation. The first phase was a new health services area which began in 2013.