Prison plan progressing

The 378-cell, high-security facility is the centrepiece of BC Corrections’ second-phase capital expansion plan.

In March of 2013, contracts were signed between BC Corrections and the Osoyoos Indian Band to build the new Okanagan Correctional Centre at the Senkulmen Business Park on Highway 97.

Estimated at approximately $200 million, the construction project will be designed to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification.

The 378-cell, high-security facility is the centrepiece of BC Corrections’ second-phase capital expansion plan and when completed, the new centre will more than double corrections capacity in B.C.’s Interior.

The OCC 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 new, full-time correctional positions when the centre opens in the fall of 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.

At this time there are three teams being considered for the construction of the Centre.

In September 2013, Partnerships B.C. approached the South Okanagan Chamber of Commerce to develop a centralized data base for subcontractors and potential employees to register their interest in participating in the project.

The South Okanagan Chamber of Commerce has now developed this site.

The site is designed to maximize the economic opportunities flowing from this construction project now and in the future, it will also provide relevant news and notifications of other major projects in the region.

Businesses that are a South Okanagan and surrounding area based supplier of goods and services or those seeking employment opportunities regarding the Okanagan Correctional Centre project are invited to register at  www.sochamber.ca and follow the Business Registry link.

The link will also be available on the Summerland Chamber website at www.summerlandchamber.com under the Business Resources tab.

This business registry is a unique opportunity for Okanagan businesses and individuals to be seen, contacted and engaged by major project leaders.

For the OCC project, the business registry will be provided to the three proponent teams on a bi-weekly basis.

Once a preferred bidding team is selected in early 2014, the business registry will continue to be sent to them on a regular basis, up until the end of construction.

Currently, the OCC project is on target with construction expected to start in 2014 and project completion by the fall of 2016.

We always appreciate your feedback.  Please contact me at manager@summerlandchamber.com or our chamber president, Arlene Fenrich, at president@summerlandchamber.com.

Christine Petkau is the manager of the Summerland Chamber of Commerce.