The proposed price of an exclusive new prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, rose by $20 million in a year because designers added meeting rooms and a medical clinic for 15 former CIA captives, including accused 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed, a military spokesman saidMonday.
Last year, the military estimated it would cost $49 million to build a new Camp 7, Guantanamo's name for its clandestine high-value detainee lockup. Last week, the U.S. House Armed Services Committee earmarked $69 million in its proposed budget for 2015 Defense Department spending to build the new prison.
Construction is not assured because the full Congress has yet to take up the budget.
"The original estimated cost was made pre-site-selection," said Army Col. Greg Julian, a spokesman for the U.S. Southern Command, which oversees the detention center that holds 154 terrorism suspects and a 2,200-member staff.
Now, blueprints also include a "medical facility, attorney-client meeting rooms and support with utilities, connecting to the utility grid," Julian said. He added that the military considers it safer to keep the captives in one place rather than move them around the detention center for meetings and services.