Ontario Construction Report staff writer
Snow and frigid temperatures haven’t cooled down Aquicon Construction Co. Ltd. in building a new, state-of-the-art Kawartha Lakes OPP detachment. Infrastructure Ontario (IO) is overseeing development of the facility on behalf of the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services (MCSCS). The new detachment was designed by NORR Ltd., and Aquicon was the successful bidder in IO’s open and competitive process.
The previous building had been constructed in 1959 to accommodate a dozen officers. The staff has grown over time to more than 75. The new facility is being built to a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver standard. It includes a multi-purpose boardroom with public access for community meetings, holding cells, evidence vaults with processing area, a secure compound to accommodate seized vehicles and a sally port.
In January, the structural steel and steel decking had been installed to complete the superstructure. Aquicon project manager David Aquino says this puts the project on schedule to meet its targeted completion in Summer 2014, despite the challenges this winter has provided.
“The schedule was tight to begin with, even for a normal winter,” he said. “The amount of snow we’ve had already this winter has been incredible and it came early. It caused several lost days.”
Aquicon says one of the coldest winters on record has also created challenges, but excellent communication and dedication throughout the team has helped to overcome these challenges. “The architect, owner, client and trades are all on board to ensuring the success of this project.”
The building has been designed to reflect its environment with natural stone veneer and steel and cement fibre cement siding.
“A one-storey design will support accessibility, while elements like in-floor heating and efficient energy systems will contribute to the LEED points required for certification,” says Aquino.
The structure will also use a TPO (thermoplastic polyolefin) single-ply roofing membrane, selected for its heat-reflective and energy efficient properties. The building will be connected to a natural gas back-up generator to keep it in operation during power outages.
The building’s location along Highway 35 provides proximity to Highway 7 and the Kawarthas. It’s being built on an existing, government-owned property, and its setting adjacent to the local courthouse has resulted in some unique communications requirements.
“We have to work closely with the courthouse to ensure we are not interfering with their daily operations,” Aquino says.
The modern building is part of the Wynne government’s commitment to replace or upgrade OPP facilities for front-line officers. Updating Ontario’s community safety infrastructure, roads, highways, transit, hospitals and schools is part of the government’s plan to create jobs, grow local economies and ensure the province remains strong and competitive for years to come.