KEMPTVILLE — The former Kemptville agricultural college will be home to a 235-bed prison.
The prison is to be built on about 182 acres owned by the province and on the site of what was the former college dairy barn and A.M. Barr show arena.
Called the Greater Ottawa Correctional Complex, it is part of a $500 million effort by the province to boost prison capacity and quality in Eastern Ontario.
The project is expected to take at least three years to complete, North Grenville’s mayor Nancy Peckford said. As well, the province is building a new prison in Brockville to replace the Brockville Jail, expanding the St. Lawrence Valley Correctional and Treatment Centre, and expanding the Quinte Detention Centre as well.
The municipality was informed just days before the Aug. 27 announcement wrote mayor Peckford in a statement. “I recognize that our community already has a number of questions about this announcement, including the process and timing, details about the facility itself and how community safety will be protected. Council and I have the same questions.”
Peckford added that she’d been in touch with the region’s MPP Steve Clark (Conservative — Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes) and that there would be a “long and thorough consultation,” by the province, beginning in the fall.
Peckford said that “the correctional system has needed investment for a long time,” and that the project would bring “significant economic opportunities,” to North Grenville. “More details will come with the community engagement process this fall.”
The college closed its doors in 2014 and in 2018, the Municipality of North Grenville bought part of the land to turn into an “educational hub.” It now hosts two schools and a daycare facility.