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.