After a $52-million upgrade, a new 216-cell section of the Regina Correctional Centre was officially opened on Wednesday.

The section is to replace a wing of the jail built in 1913, although other sections of the jail that were built in the 1980s aren't being replaced. The old section held more than 200 sentenced offenders and people on remand awaiting court.

In recent years, it had become an embarrassment for the government, following reports of overcrowding, health and safety concerns and physical deterioration of the building. It's slated for demolition.

In addition to a remand unit, high-and medium security cells and medical cells, the new section also includes a health-care out-patient clinic, an inmate admission/discharge area with an enclosed vehicle port, a no-contact visiting area and an interim administration building.

The provincially-run jail is located just outside the city limits to the northeast.