Soon the Lacombe Police Service (LPS) will have a new home along with the birth of a new community hub.
Ground was broken on July 24th for the new police station to be constructed in the Wolf Creek Industrial Park at 3906 – 53 Ave.
Dignitaries, police service members and those involved in the $8.39 million project gathered at the site to mark the beginning of construction.
LPS Chief Steve Murray said the plans for a new facility began eight years ago after some shortcomings of the current facility were noted.
“At that point, we looked at what our options are,” he said. “The City committed to a new facility and the design committee was struck in March 2014.”
Murray said all key stakeholders and partners were present at each planning session, bringing their voices and community needs to the table to impact the design.
“Some of the key changes for us is that the (new) facility is one storey as opposed to two,” he said. “We wanted to make sure this facility is always accessible to the community, so we didn’t want to deal with the issue of barriers to getting up to other floors.”
The new station will have a larger footprint, with a bigger lobby, more room for all staff members, a meeting room for community groups, file storage, a new up-to-standard cellblock and an in-house victim services office.
“Everything is going to be accessible from right in the lobby, so that when we meet with community groups, we don’t have to worry about guiding them through the actual guts of the station,” said Murray. “The community partnership room is going to be able to accommodate 50 people. We will do our school tours there. It will be available to community groups. It’s just totally geared up to be a community police facility.”
The new facility is also strategically placed on the east side of Lacombe, so as the City grows, the facility will be eventually be located right in the heart of the City.
“Council has been working on this important project for some time,” said Lacombe Mayor Steve Christie. “We wanted to do it right. We wanted to have it in the right location. We wanted to make it last.”
Christie noted the current LPS station located along 50 Ave. was built in the early 50s. The new station is planned to last the community 75 or 80 years.
“It’s a very important project and in March 2014, council directed administration to undertake the police facility project,” said Christie. “We feel that we have a great location for many years to come. Down the road, it will be in the middle of the City. So we are very pleased with this location.”
Lacombe Police Commission Chair Jonathan Jacobson said the civilian oversight body for the police service is also very excited the project is underway.
“This building when completed will significantly enhance the partnership between the community and its police service, making Lacombe a safer and more attractive place for years to come,” he said.
Chandos Construction Operations Manager Jason Towers said the next immediate step for the project is to gain a building permit. Following that, construction on the facility will kick into high gear.
“Dirt work will be done early fall but we will start doing foundations at that point,” he said. “I would say sometime after Halloween we will start seeing some stuff come up out of the ground.”
With a 15-month timeline, the new facility is estimated to be completed by October of 2016.