The City of Burnaby is underway with the creation of a new detachment headquarters for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
According to documents attached to an RFP from the city, the current scope of the project is to construct a new 11,200-square-metre, three- to four-storey RCMP detachment at the corner of Norland Avenue and Ledger Avenue.
The total estimated project cost is roughly $162 million.
The RFP also lists potential amenities that will be built into the headquarters. These include multi-purpose rooms, offices, storage and utility rooms, health and wellness facilities, cell blocks and exhibit storage, a cafeteria, and 14,000 square metres of parking at surface level and underground with a preference for underground.
The proponent will also need to demolish the single-family units currently on the property and perform on-site civil work, utility and services, site grading and soil remediation.
During a council meeting in July, Burnaby awarded the contract for the project to Safe Community Partners, a consortium of several different companies. Burnaby is delivering the new headquarters through an Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) model.
Therefore, the initial contract awarded to Safe Community Partners is for the validation phase of the project and has a value of $6,496,225. The validation phase incorporates pre-design investigations and will see the undertaking of pre-construction work to prepare the site.
Burnaby staff will prepare and present a final report on the project costs, schedule and scope for council approval after this phase at which point council will vote on whether or not to use Safe Community Partners for the final delivery of the project.
Safe Community Partners consists of contractors Kinetic Construction Ltd., architects Johnston Davidson Architecture Inc., structural engineers Read Jones Christoffersen Ltd., mechanical engineers MCW Consulting Ltd., civil and electrical engineers WSP Canada Inc., mechanical contractors Altac Mechanical Inc., electrical contractors Canem Systems Ltd., and security and tech contractors Houle Electric Ltd.
One of the benefits of using the IPD process is that the city has flexibility with the chosen team moving through the project.
“This is the team that we’re proposing to design and build the facility. Now, under the terms of the IPD contract, there’s an off-ramp,” said Burnaby’s general manager of lands and facilities James Lota, during the July meeting.
“Say at the end of validation, they come back and we don’t like the price or we don’t like the design; we can cancel the whole thing and tell everyone to go home.”
IPD also gives the city more control over who is part of the chosen team.
“We also have the ability to switch out the partner. So, say we like the whole team except the mechanical contractor, for example, we have the ability to switch out the mechanical.”
Coun. Alison Gu shared concerns the IPD process would inhibit the city’s ability to perform quality control on the project. Lota said the exact opposite is true.
“The whole team is in every meeting and since this whole team, including ourselves, has a lot of experience in the construction industry any one of us can essentially call a flag on a play,” Lota said.
“We can challenge the electrical contractor and say, ‘Look, we’re not seeing that on our other projects. Can you please prove to me how you’re doing this?’ And the reason why everyone is incentivized to do this is because if the electrical comes in at a higher cost than expected, that starts to eat into the profits of all the partners.”
The move to create a new RCMP detachment headquarters began three years ago. In 2020, Burnaby conducted a RCMP Detachment Space Need Study.
The study found the current 50-year-old headquarters which houses more than 400 staff would not be big enough to contain future growth.
The validation phase report is expected to be before city council by October with the building possibly finishing construction as early as 2027.