There was a ground breaking ceremony here for the new 18,600 square foot, $7.5-million northern facility for North Wellington OPP operation centre.
Expected to be completed in early 2014, the facility is the third and final new OPP detachment built and joins modern facilities built previously in Rockwood and Aboyne.
Collaborative Structures Limited of Cambridge has been selected as the contractor.
County councillor Lynda White, head of the police services board, welcomed politicians, OPP officials and county staff to the ground breaking.
“This building was a vision four years ago because we had talked about getting a building in the north part of the county,” White said. “The county has grown so there was a need to build this office here for officers and administration. Policing has always been a key priority.”
When completed the new facility will replace the Palmerston OPP detachment.
“The police services board is committed to the OPP,” White said of the new facility.
“We are pleased to begin the final phase of our OPP facility re-development,” said Warden Chris White. “This new location in Teviotdale will enhance community policing needs in the northern end of the county and will ensure responsive and efficient service to local residents.”
Minto Mayor George Bridge said politicians from the northern part of the county wanted a northern detachment.
“We’ve always had a vision of a police facility in the northern part of the county,” he said. “Teviotdale is the hub of the north.”
The sale of the six-acre parcel of municipal property, once used for soccer and baseball, brought in about $180,000 which Minto council is putting back into recreation at facilities in Harriston and Clifford, Bridge said.
OPP superintendent Greg Skinner, of the Ontario Provincial Police Western Region, also noted the cooperation between the OPP and county which has seen new police detachments built.
“It’s a model of cooperation other communities would do well to follow,” Skinner said. “Nobody does it like Wellington County.”
The new facility will also make recruiting efforts easier for the OPP. Skinner said with two new facilities in place the OPP has had no difficulties recruiting officers “to work in Wellington County.”
Inspector Scott Lawson, who was recently hired as county detachment commander, said he has found it “a pleasure working with the police services board.”
“Today’s event could not have happened without collaborative work,” he said.
“Here in Wellington we are the envy of many of my colleagues.” Lawson said of new facilities built. “The OPP is committed to ensuring the safety and security of residents and their property.”
Lynda white added, “I’d like to say thank you to the OPP and to the people of our community.”
In keeping with its commitment to the environment, the facility will be constructed using the county’s Green Legacy building standards.