BLEDSOE COUNTY, TN. (WRCB) -- State leaders cut the ribbon on the new Bledsoe County Correctional Complex and soon after, toured the 460,000 square-foot facility.

The building has more than 1,500 beds for inmates and eight medical facilities.

State prison director Derrick Schofield says this prison will help lighten the load on overcrowded local facilities. 

Bledsoe County lost hundreds of jobs when Taft Youth Facility closed down earlier this year.

Mayor Bobby Collier says after a hard fight to keep the Taft facility open, he was relieved when the new facility was announced.

He hopes this is a gateway to more employment in the area.

The new prison will have 230 members on its security staff and 195 on its administrative and professional staff.

The total project costs $208 million and took about 30 months to finish.