It will be a few years before the Regina Police Service moves lock, stock and barrel into the former Saskatchewan Transportation Company building.
At the end of March, the Strategic Prairie Region Alliance (SPRA) was hired for the project to handle architecture services following a Request for Proposals process. The group is a joint venture between P3Architecture in Regina, aodbt architecture and interior design in Saskatoon with support from CS&P Architects of Toronto.
Last week the architect team, responsible for the planning and design work, sized up the former bus depot and interviewed police about their needs so a space plan can be developed for the various units.
“We want this to be a 20-year-plus solution for the RPS,” said Jamie Hanson, project lead and manager of facilities and engineering with the City of Regina.
The design work should take until the end of 2018. When the project moves into the construction stage, another tender will be put out and a different contractor will do the renovations and construction.
Hanson expects a construction tender will be put out early next summer.
The move from the existing police station on Osler Street — right across the street from the former bus depot — will be staged to minimize the impact on police operations.
“We’ll focus our efforts on re-purposing the new facility and we would transition units into that space and then we can work on areas that have been vacated in the existing headquarters and complete our site development in subsequent phases,” Hanson said.
By 2021, the site development and the move of police to their new homes should be wrapped up.
The current police station will be used in conjunction with the new facility to create “a campus solution,” Hanson said.
“There will be two facilities but it has yet to be determined how they will be connected,” he noted.
By bringing all the various police units together, the RPS should see efficiency gains and lead to improved service delivery, Hanson said.
In late November, city council approved $37 million to buy and renovate the former STC building. Of that, $16.2 million went to the purchase of the properties.
The remaining funds are for the design, construction, furniture and any specialty equipment needed.
At the time, Mayor Michael Fougere celebrated the “wonderful” deal as a bargain for the city. He said the alternative was shelling out about $140 million to construct a new police headquarters.
Expanding the police service’s quarters has been the city’s “most pressing infrastructure issue,” Fougere said.
The current police headquarters are “significantly overcrowded,” according to administration, forcing police to move numerous personnel off site.