Construction on the $100-million Alberta Police and Peace Officers Training Centre could begin as early as 18 months from now.
Alberta Infrastructure and Transportation Minister Ty Lund said Wednesday construction should start soon after a shortened tender process is finished.
“We’re compressing the time,” Lund said of the process for a private public partnership for construction of the training centre. “This college is something we really need.”
Lund announced the college will be built through a private public partnership, or P3 process, as it is known.
Lund, who is MLA for Rocky Mountain House, said it is in everyone’s best interests to get the college built in 18 months to two years.
“The longer we wait, the more it will cost,” Lund said in an interview.
The infrastructure and transportation minister praised Solicitor General for his work on the project.
“When he first proposed this I remember thinking this is real, real planning and forward thinking,” Lund said during a news conference at The Fort Museum of the North West Mounted Police.
Lund said his department made the decision to involve private investors in construction and operation of the training centre.
“When government doesn’t own or operate it, your community is going to have even more opportunity to benefit from this facility in your community,” Lund said.
“There will be all kinds of opportunities as we go through the process,” Lund added.
Lund said during the 18 months to two-year process Fort Macleod will be involved in development of the training centre.
“I can assure you, you’re going to be inundated with people coming here questioning,” Lund said.
The intent will be to build a training centre that not only meets the needs of the recruits and staff, but also Fort Macleod.
“How can we integrate the community and make more use of this facility so it is not just a training centre,” Lund said.
Lund urged community residents to give consideration to what they would like to see in the training centre.
“I guess I liken it to building a mall. You always have an anchor tenant,” Lund said. “In this case the province of Alberta is going to be the anchor tenant. It will build around the anchor tenant just like a mall does.”
“Put your thinking caps on,” Lund added. “Think of things you might want to see connected to it.”
The private investor that gets the contract will be the one that best involves Fort Macleod.
“When we measure down to the final assessment of which consortium or company gets it, community involvement . . . is going to measure high,” Lund said.