Rimes grew up in public housing in North Philadelphia and said he learned to fish from men in his building, who would teach the young kids to keep them out of trouble.Now, Rimes — who lives in Germantown and cleans the Paoli Regional Rail Station as a subcontractor for Amtrak — fishes with a group of about 25 others who call themselves the East Falls Fishing Crew.The Phoenix facilities, under general contractor Walsh-Heery Joint Venture, were supposed to be done last June 25. The state agreed to pay 0 million in 2013, and boosted that to 0 million last summer after a string of change orders.

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The second-largest construction project in Pennsylvania state history is State Correctional Institutions Phoenix, rising on former farmland next to the 87-year-old SCI Graterford prison in Montgomery County.

Only the $800 million Convention Center in Philadelphia cost taxpayers more.

Phoenix is a million-square-foot complex, about as big as the Comcast Center, the state's tallest office tower.

Indeed, Pennsylvania's prison population, which rose from 12,000 in 1983 to a peak of 51,000 in 2010, has fallen slightly to 49,000, after crime rates dropped. The Pennsylvania Prison Society, which backs "community-based solutions" instead of prison for some offenders, mostly "doesn't want more prisons being built," executive director Ann Schwartzman told me.

Yet advocates do see advantages in replacing "crumbling" older buildings and adding program space, she added.

He said he uses a homemade cornmeal mix to reel in carps.

But when asked for the ingredients, Rimes clammed up.

It is designed to house 3,872 inmates, a few hundred more than now live at Graterford, the main state prison for the Philadelphia area.