Pitt Meadows council has approved a design for its new RCMP building, with a budget of $21.5 million.
Councillors reviewed conceptual designs in May, and asked the architect to bring back a design that was less industrial, with more wood and natural elements. They also expressed the need for room for future growth in the building.
They were presented with four new looks for the building on June 7. It will be built on a site at 12492 Harris Rd. that currently is the home of the Pitt Meadows Art Gallery.
The province approved Pitt Meadows to get its own autonomous detachment late in 2021.
The new building will have 18,740 square feet of floor area, with 1,500 square feet of space for volunteers and flex space. There will not be room in the building for the city bylaws department.
Coun. Bob Meachen said the approved design comes in slightly under budget, with $274,000 in savings under the approved spend, which will allow for features in the interior. He likes the design.
“As you enter Pitt Meadows, it will be one of the biggest, best buildings that you can see as you approach down Harris Road,” said Meachen. “So it will be quite a striking building in that location, and as such, it does need to be something that we can be proud of.”
Coun. Tracy Miyashita said she appreciated the use of wood in the design, rather than steel in the first renderings.
“I think this is more aligned with The Natural Place,” she said, noting that trees and landscaping on the site will also be important.
Coun. Mike Hayes and Anena Simpson preferred a different option, option 1, which had an overhang. However option 4 (see photo) was approved in a 5-2 vote.
Coun Gwen O’Connell said she would also support the option recommended by staff, while adding: “But I will be out there picketing if it looks too formal.” She said feedback from “old timers” is the new detachment should fit in with the buildings in the neighbourhood.
Coun. Nicole MacDonald defended the boxy design that took some criticism. The former police officer noted there are prescribed designs for RCMP buildings, and said simply “Boxy is how they come.”
“I think we can move forward, and get better policing and safety in the community,” she said.
Next, staff will bring a detailed design to council in late 2022 or early next year, with construction to begin in spring of 2023. The estimated completion of the building will be spring 2025.
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