Summit Shock on the auction block


By Jim Poole

Wanna buy a prison? The Summit Shock facility could be yours.
The state Office of General Services plans to auction the minimum security prison, closed for three years, on August 20.
Dan Quinlan of OGS said the minimum bid for Summit Shock will be $95,000, which some may consider cheap for a property of nearly 20 acres with almost 40 buildings on it.
Summit Shock, formerly called Camp Summit and actually in the Town of Fulton, was one of six state prisons Governor Cuomo closed as a budget-cutting move in the summer of 2011.
The announcement came as a surprise, especially the loss of 130 good-paying jobs the facility had.
When Hurricane Irene heavily damaged the Schoharie County Jail, there was talk of using Summit Shock as a county jail.
That plan never materialized, so the closed prison remained on the state's surplus property list.
Mr. Quinlan said there's been some interest in Summit Shock. He's shown it several times, mostly to New York City-area people interested in converting it into a camp for children.
"There have been some prospects who'd like it for recreational or educational uses for kids," Mr. Quinlan said.
The buildings were built from the early 1960s to the late 2000s, according to a state website. Included are a mess hall, dormitories, a wastewater treatment plant, water distribution system, auto and small-engine shops and oil- and wood-fired boilers.
The utilities have been shut down, Mr. Quinlan said.
If Summit Shock doesn't sell at the auction, the state will probably hold another auction later, Mr. Quinlan said.
"Typically, we'd mothball it and wait six months or a year for a second auction," he said.
The August 20 auction will be at The Community Library in Cobleskill, with registration at 11:30am and the auction at 12:30pm.
With the minimum bid of $95,000, potential bidders must come with a certified check for $9,500 made out to themselves. The successful bidder will transfer the check to the state.
Bidders should also bring ID, Mr. Quinlan said.
The Office of General Services will hold open houses at Summit Shock on July 16, July 25 and August 12, 11am to 1:30pm each day.
A different day to view Summit Shock could probably be arranged, Mr. Quinlan said.
Anyone interested or needing more information can call 474-2195.