Those wondering what’s going on with the Okanagan Correctional Centre will have their chance to ask BC Corrections staff when Assistant Deputy Minister of BC Corrections Brent Merchant visits Oliver this fall.
Mayor Ron Hovanes said Merchant will host a public engagement session at the community centre on the evening of October 9.
Hovanes said the purpose of these sessions is to update the public on the status of the project, discuss employment opportunities and respond to any questions residents may have about the project and BC Corrections.
“When there is a corrections facility being built in the area, there are bound to be a number of concerns,” he said. “I know from past experience that these sessions are a great opportunity for the community at large.”
In the meantime, three proponents have been short-listed and invited to submit Request for Proposals (RFP) to design, build, partially finance and maintain the new correctional centre.
These proponents include BC Community Partners, Brookfield-EllisDon-Fengate Justice Partners, and Plenary Justice. Merchant said one of these proponents will be selected in early 2014.
When completed, the new prison will more than double corrections capacity in BC’s Interior.
The $200 million project is expected to generate significant economic benefits for the region, including the creation of up to 500 direct and 500 indirect construction jobs, as well as approximately 240 new, full-time correctional positions when the centre opens.
The facility is slated for completion by 2015.