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The provincial government plans to build a new prison that can house twice as many inmates as Her Majesty’s Penitentiary, Justice Minister Andrew Parsons announced Wednesday.

Proposals are due by 2020 and construction is expected to begin in 2022. The government expects the 226,000-square-foot building to cost $200 million.

It will be located in the White Hills area of St. John’s and will allow for more programming, recreation, and better mental health services than Her Majesty’s Penitentiary.

A value for money assessment completed by EY recommended in 2018 that government use the design, build, finance and maintain approach compared to the traditional design-build approach. Requests for Proposals (RFP) for external procurement, technical and fairness advisors will begin this summer.

A request for qualifications (RFQ) to establish an industry short list of businesses interested in designing, building, financing and maintaining the facility will be issued in spring 2020. Teams of businesses that respond to the RFQ will then be evaluated and a short list of proponents will receive the RFP.

Through Budget 2019, $600,000 has been allocated for planning.

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