Friday , 22 October 2021

Report presented to City of Cold Lake Council on progress of RCMP Detachment Building project

City of Cold Lake administration recently updated Council on the progress of the RCMP Detachment Building project.

On Tuesday, September 21, at the regular council meeting, Chief Administrative Officer Kevin Nagoya told Council the work on the design and development of the RCMP Detachment facility initially began in 2016. This was completed with JMAA (Architect) and at the time JMAA completed the Facility Review and Feasibility Study elected officials were told.

“The RCMP’s K-Division (Asset Management) completed the space analysis and indicated that additional expansion of 500 sq. m. would be required to be added to current 835 sq. m. (total 1335 sq. m.) to address the overcrowding issues, and meet operational requirements for next 10 to 15 years,” Nagoya told Council.

According to Nagoya’s report, the City of Cold Lake accordingly allocated total of $3,672,000 to the project with $1,628,000 in 2017, $122,000 in 2018 and finally $1,922,000 in 2019.

“The work progressed with the design and development of the facility mostly focusing on the expansion and renovation of the current facility,” Nagoya said. “There were significant challenges during this phase as the project had to go through several layers of government
approval including time needed for the consultants to prepare drawings and relevant documentation.”

It should be noted that while work was progressing to develop detail design, RCMP noted various priority improvements that were necessary within the cell blocks and required that those need to be addressed on priority basis, Nagoya added.

“The project work plan was amended to accommodate the requests and various phases of the project were tender on that basis,” Nagoya said.

In Jan 2019, RCMP K-division advised that the space analysis complete in in 2016 need to be updated to reflect the new staffing requirement and also to comply with the new RCMP design standard that were implemented between 2017 and 2019. The new
space analysis was completed in in May 2019 suggesting additional space requirement of 889 sq. m. (approx. 400 sq. m. more than the initial requirement of 2016) with the total requirement coming out to be 1726 sq. m.

“This new requirement also came with the notion that the expansion of the current facility is no more an option and instead a
standalone new facility will be required,” Nagoya said.

At the August 27, 2019 regular Council meeting, a motion was passed by Council which authorized Administration to proceed with the design and development of a new RCMP Detachment facility as per the new requirement using the existing budget allocation.

Administration proceeded with the work based on the following confirmation from RCMP:

  • That the building requirements will remain as stated in May 2019 assessment but there may be a space increase of 25 sq. m. for additional personnel
  • The current location would be acceptable for a new detachment
  • a new build was preferred rather than a renovation of the existing

“It should be noted that the RCMP K-Division covered the damages associated with the abandonment of the previous approach to the project and start anew,” Nagoya told Council.

A budget of $8 million was allocated in the 2021 Capital Budget for this project, resulting a total project budget of $11,672,000

“As the current and proposed RCMP detachment site is in close proximity to the hydro carbon contaminated lands owned by Imperial Oil, a detailed investigation was necessary to determine suitability of the site for construction of the new facility,” Nagoya said.

According to Nagoya’s report to council, this investigation work entailed the following scopes:

  • A limited geotechnical and environmental site assessment (ESA) (September 2020)
  • A full scope geotechnical and ESA (January 2021)
  • A Risk Management Plan (April 2021)

“The geotechnical investigation along with ESA enabled the development of a risk management plan for the site that will allow the construction of new facility at the proposed location with mitigation solutions in place to avoid impact from the contaminated soil,” Nagoya said. “With all of the above in order, in July 2021 administration re-engaged with the consultant (JMAA) and the RCMP K-Division to start working on the development of the new facility.”

During project meetings through correspondence the following have been brought forward by the RCMP that will potentially impact project costs and timelines Nagoya said.

  • A new space analysis is required to be completed as more personnel are to be accommodated (this will be the third assessment in five years)
  • As per the new directive from the Treasury Board Secretariat all new federal buildings (including build-to-lease and public-private partnerships) will be net-zero carbon unless a life-cycle cost-benefit analysis indicates net-zero-carbon-ready construction.

“We are at the very early stages of the design (as we await space analysis report) so are seeking clarities from RCMP on green initiative directives but do expect that there will be financial impact to the project costs,” Nagoya said. “We are also being advised that no RCMP
facilities have yet been built to this new directive but there are a couple in works that are getting impacted by this directive.”

Administration is currently waiting for the outcome of the revised space analysis and clarity from the RCMP as to the extent of the requirements for the facility to meet federal directive for the green requirements.

A site visits to three new RCMP facilities (Vegreville, Strathcona and Parkland) of similar sizes was conducted by the project team (City of Cold Lake, JMAA and RCMP K-division) on Sep 15, 2021 to get an understanding of the RCMP facilities and learn from the users of what is working and what need to be changed or avoided.

Administration says it will provide regular updates to Council as project moves to next stages of development.

“That being said, the administration is limited with the briefing details due to confidential classifications and requirements for the security clearances,” Nagoya concluded.

“The RCMP members and staff are crowded in current building hopefully we can move ahead with construction by Spring,” Mayor Craig Copeland told Lakeland Connect. “Council is concerned that ‘greening’ the building will come with added costs for the taxpayer.”

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About Arthur C. Green

Arthur C. Green is from Whitbourne Newfoundland and graduated from the CNA Journalism Program. Arthur also studied Business Marketing and Political Science at Memorial University in Essex England and St. John's Newfoundland. Green has worked for such organizations as CBC, CBC Radio, NTV, Saltwire, Great West Media, CKLB Radio, Vista Radio, and Postmedia. He also loves Jiggs Dinner!