A Prison in Summerland, BC? No: Oliver.

Correctional facility approved for Oliver, BC

Archive for April 2014

Wanted: Crane Operator

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To all those people who thought the Oliver prison would mean jobs, jobs, jobs…

Probability of precast?

New prison built from precast modules

Precast in stone?

This post is from 2011 and until today had not been published.

Considering PCL, which is the same company constructing the Oliver correctional facility, used precast units for the Surrey Pre-trial Centre expansion, they will obviously be using them for the Okanagan prison as well.

  • In Vancouver at the Surrey Pre-trial project, our use of pre-cast cells meant we were able to install 280 prison cells in a little over two weeks, saving significant time and cost.  Source PCL

Two years ago we were asking what was the likelihood that the Okanagan facility would  be constructed of precast units. Our concern was that the number of jobs would be a lot less for locals, if pre-cast were used. No-one in corrections would answer that at the time of the Okanagan public meetings. Now we know the answer. And worse yet, PCL shipped the precast units in from the eastern US, for the Surrey Pretrial Centre so no Canadian company benefited from their construction.

Vancouver’s DGBK architects on precast

DGBK were the architects selected for the Surrey Pretrial Services Centre expansion. The firm had also been hired to study cost efficiencies and to create architectural renderings of the proposed facility for the Okanagan Correctional Centre a few years ago. (see DGBK post )

In May of 2011 when I spoke with a partner at DGBK, I asked him if precast materials would be used for the Surrey Pretrial facility. He said they were looking at it. I also asked if the facility would be LEED accredited and was told it would depend on their approach.

Now we know the facility will be ‘Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design; (LEED) Gold it is logical to assume that a decision was made to include precast in the construction of the building.  LEED Gold certification can in part be achieved by using precast materials which are more energy efficient, environmentally friendlier and according to the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General the new Surrey prison will have the highest level of sustainability ever achieved in a correctional facility in British Columbia.

NO jobs, jobs, jobs

A number of prisons are now being built using precast units, for example the new Toronto South Detention Centre shown above. This is a cost saving measure for the government which is the good news. The bad news is that precast materials hugely reduce the amount of local labor required and often brings little into the local economy as the units are built elsewhere.

The three projects under BC Corrections capital expansion plan are incorporating green technology and building practices and are targeting LEED Gold certification. *There were no provincial correctional facilities in B.C. that had attained LEED certification until the Surrey Pretrial facility was completed. It is the first in BC.

Fast construction means earlier production, occupancy and reduced financing costs. Winter construction can proceed with few weather delays. Precast components are fabricated off-site in heated plants and delivered to the jobsite when needed. Source: Osco Construction NB

When the foundations are completed, precast building units can be erected swiftly in almost any kind of weather. Source: Osco Construction

Precast prison units, not new to PCL

In 2006, the PCL Regina construction management team had been given the contract for their largest pre-cast concrete job ever, at the Regina Provincial Correctional Centre. Three hundred and forty panels requiring almost 800 cubic meters of concrete. Seven years ago. PCL using precast units should not be news to anyone.

Written by summerlandbc

April 26, 2014 at 7:09 pm

Posted in Recent Posts

A Historic Land-Use Agreement?

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Is this Okanagan Correctional facility really a historic land-use agreement with First Nations or is it yet another project for which empty promises were made?

P-3 Partnership?

Back in May 18, 2011 in an Osoyoos Times article, Osoyoos Indian Band CFO Brian Titus said the band is proposing a “P-3 partnership” for the project and would take on the responsibilities of designing, building, financing and maintaining the facility, should it be built at the band’s new industrial park north of Oliver.

How did that scenario change from a P-3 partnership to one where the OIB is simply the landlord and now no jobs have been promised for band members?

Chief Clarence Louie said last Wednesday in the Penticton Herald that jobs for band members remains a key concern, although he noted there is no formal agreement outlining how many members must be hired for the prison.

“The province, like anybody else who leases land on an Indian reserve, it’s their project. We’re just the landlords,” Chief Clarence Louie said…. There’s nothing on paper, but they know it is on band land and Osoyoos Indian band members our our first priority in our band businesses.”


Written by summerlandbc

April 18, 2014 at 1:28 pm

Posted in Recent Posts