Cold Lake Mounties will be getting new digs as space is hard to come by in the current detachment.
Over the years, the City, federal RCMP and provincial K Division have worked to solve the problem of cramped space in the current detachment–budgeting $3.7 million from 2017-19 for a 500-metre building expansion.
In June 2019, K Division met with city staff and presented a new space analysis, which required an additional 900 square metres of build due to changes to the RCMP design standards over the past three years.
Now, $8 million has been set aside to spend in the 2021 year for a new RCMP detachment building instead, as part of a $12 million projected cost for the city.
Sgt. Ryan Howrish says they love their building, but the detachment staff–with 32 general duty members, 10 public servants and municipal employees, as well as Victim Services–have outgrown the facility.
“We are extremely excited about the opportunity to move into a new building,” said Sgt. Howrish.
“Since I arrived here eight years ago, they were working on an expansion. And between that time and now they’ve come to realize that an expansion is not really feasible and that there is a need for a new building. The City of Cold Lake is working with the RCMP to make that happen.”
The project is currently in the architectural design phase, which includes geotechnical testing and security clearances for those involved due to it being an RCMP building.
Cold Lake chief administrative officer Kevin Nagoya said that does make the process longer than usual.
“I anticipate that it’s going to take the better part of the year to finalize the design component of this, I hope that it’s quicker. But when you do things like this, it does take time, right, because it’s pretty technical, especially when it comes to more of a security build. People that are involved in the project have to have security clearances and stuff like that,” he said.
“If we can get it into the ground later this year, it’ll be very, very positive.”
The city could get some costs back from the project because of the provincial RCMP contract with K Division.
With an aggressive $41 million capital budget, the city hopes to spur the local economy with construction tenders, like this one.
“Some local contractors will be able to bid on that,” said Mayor Craig Copeland in The Morning After in early December.
“There’s lots of land there and it’ll transition well. Then we’ll figure out what we’re going to do with the old station afterwards,” said Copeland.