24 May 2014
With the help of an excavator, representatives from the Province, Osoyoos Indian Band (OIB), local community and construction partners donned hard hats and officially broke ground today to celebrate the construction of the Okanagan Correctional Centre (OCC).
The OCC project will act as a catalyst for the local economy and create family-supporting jobs, generating approximately 1,000 indirect and direct jobs during construction. The project is scheduled for completion in fall 2016 and, once the centre is operational, more than 240 new, full-time correctional positions will open up in the Okanagan.
Workers have been on the 14.5-hectare (36-acre) OIB site since early spring to protect the local habitat and prepare the site for major construction activities, expected to commence this August. Extensive work already is underway and continues on finalizing the design of the state of-the-art centre.
With 11 living units and 378 cells, the OCC will more than double corrections capacity in the region, further delivering on the Province’s pledge to build safer communities and protect public safety. Numerous innovations in design and surveillance will offer enhanced safety and security for both staff and inmates.
Abundant natural light, improved indoor air quality and reduced energy consumption and water use are expected to lower the OCC’s operating costs over time.
Once operational, all correctional services, including front-line supervision of inmates, will continue to be funded by the Province and delivered by BC Corrections. Building on the success of existing programs at other correctional centres, the OCC will offer core programming based on individual risk and needs assessments.
Programs that are centred on reducing reoffending, such as violence prevention and relationship skills, substance abuse management and educational and vocational programs that help provide inmates with employable job skills for their release into the larger community will be delivered.
Plenary Justice, the project’s private partner, was selected through a competitive selection process to ensure a quality building design and delivery approach that achieves value for B.C. taxpayers. Under the terms of a fixed-price, performance-based agreement, Plenary Justice is responsible for delivering the OCC project on time and on budget, with capital construction costs capped at $192.9 million.
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