VIDEO: Crews implode former NC prison to make way for National Guard center

North Carolina news

MORGANTON, N.C. (WNCN) — A high-rise prison building in western North Carolina was imploded on Saturday to make way for a National Guard center, officials said.

The 16-story building, which was part of the North Carolina Department of Corrections since 1972, was imploded Saturday morning — although the bulk of the building appeared to fall forward instead of collapse upon itself.

The building in Burke County was initially designed as a prison for all inmates, but later became a youth facility called the Western Youth Institution.

WBTV reported that the building was known to locals in the area as the “High-Rise Prison.”

The 38-acres that included the building’s location will be developed into a new National Guard Regional Readiness Center. The National Guard says the new center will have four units with about 450 soldiers and hundreds of vehicles.

Officials had hoped to use the existing high-rise building but renovating it was more expensive than demolishing it, according to the Morganton News-Herald

The newspaper reports the center will have three buildings with a total of 77,000 square feet and should allow the National Guard to respond sooner to emergencies in the state.

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