A historic jail in Guelph may be on its way to becoming an ecological research and education centre.

The Yorklands Green Hub group has plans to transform the century-old Guelph Correctional Centre facility as part of a larger vision to build an urban village in the area.

Norah Chaloner, the group’s chair, says the intent for the new centre is to focus on water, energy and local food security.

“We’re actually only asking for 36 acres which has always been agricultural, and two of the buildings on the site,” said Chaloner"It has similar goals [as Guelph] in helping our city bring down the dependence on fossil fuel,"

Chaloner says the two buildings being requested are the superintendent’s house and gatehouse. She adds many organizations have pledged support including the University of Guelph, FarmStart, and the Transition Guelph National Farmers Union of Ontario.

However, Chaloner says although city council has approved the idea and Guelph MPP Liz Sandals has also given her support, the Green Hub group will have to wait until after the Ontario election for a result since the facility is owned by province.