By Nikki Jamieson
Sunny South News
The search for a home can be lengthy, especially if you are building a new one.
During the regular Aug. 3 meeting of Lethbridge County council, Staff Sgt. Glenn Henry of the Coaldale RCMP gave an update on the stage of building for the detachments new headquarters. Unfortunately, the detachment still has to wait a while before they will have a permanent home
“We’re going to have, probably not have a building construction site until next year,” said Henry.
“About a month ago, six weeks ago, I was up in Calgary and we not happy, from a detachment perspective, about the plan of the new building.”
Henry spoke of issues the detachment had of where personnel were located, the size of the changing rooms and locker rooms, flow, parking and office locations and lack of the interview rooms in the plans.
“We need to look at a 30-year building,” said Henry.
“There was a couple of very basic, about three or four basic ideas that we weren’t very happy with, so we did a meeting up in Calgary with the asset management people to go through it and did some work-arounds. And we have a tentative plan now, finally.”
An architect has to go through the plan and drawings, but Henry predicts that they will have the final plans done in a couple of months, after which it will go out to tender, and if all goes well, construction can start next spring.
“I hate to tell people it’s going to be started April 1, because I really have no control over that. I think the safe (thing) to say is that we’ve had a lot of design and planning into this building, and I think we’ve got a good concept now.”
The Coaldale RCMP headquarters, once completed, will have cost approximately $18 million to construct. Once construction starts on it, it will take about two years to build.
Ken Benson, county councilor, questioned whether they were focusing on function instead of aesthetics for the building, recalling a similar experience when he was in the department for a police force.
“I was on the department for the local police building here, and we had more people trying to make it look pretty and artistic, rather then concerned about our use of it and how a police department operates,” said Benson.
“That’s the biggest thing that we’ll probably overcome. Because I’m sure there’s somebody who wants to make it look nice because they’ve built a building, but it’s the proper flow and all that other stuff.”
Henry noted that he believed that he was in a good position to be the voice from the operational perspective, as “For all intents and purposes, I’ll probably will never work in that building”, referencing a potential upcoming retirement in a few years. He also said that he “couldn’t care less” about the building’s aesthetics.
“It’s not my design, it’s not my wishes, it’s the wishes of those who come after me that ensure it’s functional,” said Henry.
“You have to remember it’s a 30-year building; we have to build for now and the future.”