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Province looks to lock up jail work

The B.C. government is now officially looking for companies to help build, finance and maintain the proposed Okanagan Regional Correctional Centre.

On Wednesday, the province issued a request for qualifications that will allow it to short-list up to three companies that are capable of delivering the jail through a public-private partnership.

The chosen suitors will then be asked to submit proposals to design, build, partially finance and maintain the new jail, according to a press release issued this week.

“This is an important milestone for a project that will create huge economic opportunities in the South Okanagan. The creation of 500 direct and 500 indirect construction jobs and approximately 240 new, full-time correctional positions will give citizens of the South Okanagan access to well-paying and long-term employment opportunities,” Boundary Similkameen MLA John Slater said in the release.

The province announced in February that it intends to site the jail in a business park owned by the Osoyoos Indian Band just north of Oliver. Construction is expected to begin in 2014 and wrap up in 2016.

 

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