Kamloops councillors mull funding for upgrades to RCMP building

Council considers upgrades

City staff are asking council to sign off on plans for a phased renovation of the Kamloops RCMP’s Battle Street detachment in hopes of avoiding having to build a new one — an effort that recently cost the City of Kelowna nearly $50 million.

In Tuesday’s committee of the whole meeting, city staff presented a business case to council, saying a building expansion is necessary to support a larger staff and operational changes that have occurred since the building’s original construction.

The phased approach is recommended, council was told, because it would reduce the impact to police operations while improvements to the space are completed.

Staff recommends that $750,000 be set aside to design and develop a renovation plan. They anticipate a $8 to 10 million additional cost to complete work on the building.

The building, which was built in 1990, was designed to house the city's police for 10 years.

The city's business-case report says a number of “piecemeal” renovations occurred to support the growing detachment over 30 years, but there is now “significant need” to improve various spaces within the building.

“The Battle Street detachment will not be able to accommodate the increase in required staffing stationed at this facility as the city continues to grow and the demand for policing services increases,” the report says.

Aside from requiring more room for personnel, staff explain that changes in policing require changes to the building space. For example, it’s necessary to separate evidence from employees who do not require access, something that is challenging because of the current building’s configuration.

While the city could construct a new facility, staff say renovations present a “viable, affordable” solution, especially as the current building location is preferable.

“If these improvements are implemented, it will extend the facility’s lifespan and allow for future growth,” the report reads.

Council has been asked to consider funding the project and will vote on it in the spring.

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