Former tent-city prison under repair

RAYMONDVILLE — More than two years after it closed, the former tent-city prison is undergoing a makeover.

Management and Training Corp., which purchased the 53-acre facility from Willacy County in March, is repairing a 1,000-bed concrete housing unit as it prepares to remove 10 tent-like domes, spokesman Issa Arnita said in a statement.

Meanwhile, he said, the company continues its search for a customer for whom to hold inmates.

Prospective customers include U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, company officials have said. Officials expect the facility to become a detention center holding undocumented immigrants.

In February 2015, a riot destroyed much of the prison before the Federal Bureau of Prisons terminated its contract to hold as many as 3,000 inmates in the minimum-security prison.

The prison’s closure slashed a third of Willacy County’s $8.1 million general fund budget, laying off 400 employees while sparking a financial crisis in this farming region with jobless rates of about 13 percent.