Construction of the Okanagan's first prison is expected to begin this spring, B.C. government officials said Friday.
Plenary Group, an international infrastructure development firm, has been chosen by the government as its building partner for the $200-million project.
The firm has experience managing public-private partnerships valued at more than $11 billion in various locations around the world.
"We strive to create assets that offer value for money for governments and taxpayers," the company says on its website.
Plenary Group was one of three firms invited to submit bids to design, build and partially finance the new provincial jail, which will be built on the Osoyoos Indian band's reserve.
"The selection of Plenary to build this modern, high-security facility was the result of a meticulous, fair and highly competitive process," said Minister of Technology Andrew Wilkinson.
The prison will have 378 cells and create 240 full-time jobs with a total annual payroll of $18 million when it opens in 2016. About 1,000 direct and indirect jobs will be created during the two-year construction period, according to government estimates.
"The expected economic benefits of this project will be felt throughout this region both immediately and over the long term," said Holly Plante, president of the South Okanagan Chamber of Commerce.
Local contractors, service providers and job-seekers will have the chance to meet with representatives of Plenary Group during a meeting set for Jan. 30 in Oliver. For more information and to register to attend the meeting, see sochamber.ca.
Other private companies to be involved in construction of the prison include PCL Constructors Westcoast Inc., Honeywell Limited and DGBK Architects.
The prison will be the first provincial correctional facility in Canada to be built on First Nation reserve land.
"We are breaking ground in a lot of ways here," Chief Clarence Louie of the Osoyoos Indian band said last year.