The federal government has announced Stony Mountain Institution will add a maximum-security unit.

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews made the official announcement Friday morning. The expansion is slated to cost $45 million, with 96 beds added to Stony Mountain.

As part of the expansion, the Rockwood Institution will also get 50 more beds.

Currently, the Stony facility only houses medium-security inmates. Corrections officers held a protest outside the facility Friday, voicing concerns about the way the new units are being built and wanting to have input into the design.

The union said it has been trying to sit down with Toews for the past few months.

"He stopped here today on his way out and basically told us it's not his domain and I'm flabbergasted," said Kevin Grabowski, from the Union of Canadian Correctional Officers.

Correctional officers also wanted to meet with Toews to discuss staff safety, including double-bunking and the problems that come with prison overcrowding.

"Right now there is an outbreak of scabies at the institution. We had an officer that had to be hospitalized," said Grabowski.

Toews said it's not his place to deal with union issues.

"You'd be the first to express concern if a politician was getting involved with workplace safety and health issues in a federal penitentiary," said Toews to reporters on Friday.

The union insists problems at Stony will only get worse and their next step is to try to speak with Prime Minister Stephen Harper about their concerns.

About 40 new positions will be created with the addition of the maximum-security wing at Stony Mountain.

The Stony project is expected to be completed by the year 2014.

- with a report from CTV's Stacey Ashley