The B.C. government took an important step forward for the Okanagan Correctional Centre (OCC) project last week with the release of a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to identify proponents capable of delivering the new facility in the South Okanagan.
The RFQ represents the first stage in the competitive selection process that invites companies to submit responses showing their interest in, and qualifications for, the public-private partnership project. The next step will be to identify a shortlist of up to three qualified proponents who will then be invited to submit proposals to design, build, partially finance and maintain the new correctional centre.
The 378 cell, high-security facility is the centrepiece of BC Corrections’ second-phase capital expansion plan. When completed, the new centre will more than double corrections capacity in B.C.’s Interior and will enhance public safety for communities, correctional staff and inmates throughout the province.
The construction cost of the project is estimated to be approximately $200 million. The OCC will 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 in late 2016. In addition, there will be a number of contracted staff on site such as nurses, doctors, dentists, counsellors, food service workers and trades personnel.