Missouri State Penitentiary resuming tours in April

Modified tours are planned to begin April 21st.

The Missouri State Penitentiary is reopening for public tours after months of renovations.

The Jefferson City Convention and Visitors Bureau says the renovations and clean-up of the penitentiary are moving ahead, and modified tours are planned to begin April 21st.

The 2013 tour season was halted in late September after environmental testing found high levels of mold in several areas of the prison.

In November the city and state agreed to split the clean-up costs, which totaled around $2 million.

"We are extremely grateful to the state of Missouri and the City of Jefferson for fulfilling their agreement to make the necessary repairs and clean-up," said Diane Gillespie, the Executive Director of the Jefferson City Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The modified tours will include access to housing units and the gas chamber. Ghost tours will be delayed until hazardous material is removed from Housing Unit 3. Full tours are expected to begin July 1st.

The State Penitentiary began operating in 1836 and was the oldest operating prison west of the Mississippi River when it closed in September 2004. Public tours began in 2009.