Laconia To Discuss Reuse Options For Former Prison, State School

Jun 6, 2018

The view from the former prison and mental institution in Laconia is seen in a 2011 state appraisal photograph.
Credit NH Department of Transportation

Lakes Region residents can hear more Wednesday night about plans to redevelop the site of a former state prison in Laconia.

The Lakes Region facility was a minimum-security prison from 1991 to 2009.

For nearly 100 years before that, it was the Laconia State School – a residential facility for people with developmental disabilities. It had a documented history of abuse, neglect and overcrowding.

Now, state and local officials have to decide what to do with the scenic, 200-acre property long-term.

They’ve contracted with a big Northeast consulting firm to find a reuse that might give the area an economic boost.

Early ideas include new housing, a resort, a sports complex or a mixed-use development.

The state commission on redeveloping the site will hold a public meeting to discuss their plans at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Laconia City Hall.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly described the Laconia State School as a mental and psychiatric institution. In fact, it was a residential facility for people with developmental disabilities.