Roof leaks found more than two years ago still plaguing new $112.25-million northwest police campus

More than two years after leaks were discovered in the roof of a pricey northwest police campus, city officials are no closer to unveiling an opening date.

The 183,000-square-foot building is already a year overdue and $4.6 million over its original $107-million budget, and the city is relying on contractors with whom it’s engaged in a court battle to permanently fix the problem.

Acting infrastructure delivery branch manager Jesse Banford said crews are still making repairs and monitoring them to ensure they’re holding, but it’s proven tough to identify the source of the leaks.

“As we do the destructive testing, we would be looking to see or force leaks and to ensure that there aren’t any additional leaks throughout and to ensure that the repair work gets complete,” Banford said during an update to the media Friday afternoon.

“It is a very complex facility so the location of where the leaks are coming through, and due to the complexity of the building envelope, the entry point may be totally different.”

The north-side facility was supposed to be operational early 2019, but the city announced a lengthy delay last July after the roof woes were made public.

The city filed a lawsuit against more than 30 defendants last December, seeking $8 million for repairs and compensation for the project delays. The leaks forced city council to bump up the budget by $4.6 million to $112.25 million, approved back in October.

Leaks in the roof were first identified to the city in December 2017, which created mould and caused damage in the building. But the developers presented the building as ready to go in November 2018 and continued to reassure the city the leaks had been fixed, the city said in its statement of claim.

The city argues the roof was built “in a defective and deficient manner” and is still not ready to be occupied by the Edmonton Police Service. Banford said the lawsuit is still in front of the courts and the city is continuing to work with the defendants on the project.

“Ultimately, we’re looking to ensure that the cost to the City of Edmonton is next to nothing,” Banford said.

Eventually, the new police facility north of Anthony Henday Drive off 127 Street will be the home of northwest division officers, a recruitment training centre and an arrest processing facility. It is expected to house about 250 staff members as well as 70 detainee cells, which is one thing the current northwest station is lacking as the police force waits for the new building.

“It’s unfortunate, but we also understand we have to be patient and when we do move in we want a building that’s ready for us,” said Darren Derko, deputy police chief of corporate services. “It would be nice to get everybody into the building, we’re getting anxious.”

Leases had to be extended for the current northwest station and the recruitment training centre in Griesbach as a result of the delay, Derko said, but it isn’t expected to have an impact on police finances because they aren’t yet paying for the new building.


Edmonton Police Service Deputy Chief Darren Derko speaks to the media about the Edmonton Police Service Northwest Campus, in Edmonton Friday Feb. 14, 2020. Photo by David Bloom

David_Bloom David Bloom / David Bloom/Postmedia

duscook@postmedia.com

twitter.com/dustin_cook3