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Police college work happens behind scenes

The province continues to work behind the scenes on the $110-million police college that will be built in Fort Macleod.

Project managers are reviewing the qualifications of some of the nine companies that submitted proposals to build the college and lease it to the province.

“We would very much like to have that project moving forward,” Fort Macleod Mayor Shawn Patience said. “We think it is, but it’s not as fast as anyone would like.”

The province announced in August 2006 that it would build the $110-million Alberta Police and Peace Officer Training Centre in Fort Macleod.

At that time, local officials were optimistic work on the site in the southeast corner of Fort Macleod would already be under way.

“From our perspective, the sooner they get going the better,” Patience said in an interview Friday.

The Solicitor General’s department in January placed a call for expressions of interest from the private sector for a private-public partnership.

The expression of interest was a way to gather information, with no obligation on the part of the government to choose any developer who responds.

The province then asked for qualifications from a short list of the nine who responded to the expression of interest.

The contract for construction is to be awarded in January 2009. Construction of the police college in the southeast corner of Fort Macleod is scheduled to begin in 2009.

“There is so much up-front work that needs to be done for a major project like this,” Town of Fort Macleod economic development officer Gordon MacIvor said. “This is a $110-million project.”

Patience said while the lack of physical work on the site is frustrating, it has been the case from the start of the project that each step takes longer than anticipated.

“I had hoped we would be past this stage, but none of it has gone as quickly as we would have liked,” Patience said.

Patience is confident the project will proceed as indicated by Solicitor General Fred Lindsay and his predecessor, Harvey Cenaiko.

“Fred Lindsay I believe to be a man of his word,” Patience said. “Both him and Harvey Cenaiko are very committed to this project.”

MacIvor agreed, adding any uncertainty among local residents is understandable.

“Until they get a shovel in the ground we’re still going to have people questioning it,” MacIvor said.

The police college will become the training centre for about 1,500 police and peace officer recruits such as special constables, corrections officers, sheriffs, private investigators and security guards each year.

The police college will have a main building of about 35,000 square metres, a training area that is like an outdoor village, indoor firing ranges and vehicle services.

There will be typical classrooms and labs in the college.The college will have offices for the registrar, instructors and administration, as well as an armoury, chapel, health centre and radio work area.

Special facilities to be included at the college are shooting ranges, simulation areas, combative rooms, a parade ground, drill hall and tactical area.

Instructional space will include computer labs, a DNA lab, distance learning, lecture theatre, breakout rooms and a library.

Those areas will be for the exclusive use of the college, but there are plans for possible shared use facilities such as a driving track, ball fields and running and bike trails.

Other possible shared use areas or services the college might purchase are a gym, ball courts, fitness centre, recruit residence, hotel for continuing education, food services, store, laundry, bar or lounge. Support services that might be bought or shared include parking, material handling, vehicle maintenance, building maintenance, printing and an audio-visual work area.

The college will be a welcome sight in Fort Macleod, whenever it is built. “We’re ever vigilant,” Patience said. “I have no reason to believe it’s not going ahead.”

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Index of Police College Stories - Listed by release date in Gazette

Apr 24 - Fort Macleod town council is planning for the future

Jan 10 - Province gives Fort Macleod $10.26-million for police college costs

Sep 11 - Wildrose Party will fight for Fort Macleod

Sep 04 - Fort Macleod residents devastated by decision to scrap police college

Sep 04 - Fort Macleod asks premier to reverse college decision

Sep 03 - Fort Macleod calls on premier to reverse police college decision

Aug 29 - Residents of Fort Macleod punished for voting Wildrose

Aug 29 - Wildrose says Fort Macleod victim of Tory fiscal incompetence

Aug 29 - Government cancels funding for police training college

Aug 28 - Council awards police college permit

Aug 01 - Police training facility will be unique in Canada

Nov 01 - Province approves grant for police college infrastructure

Oct 19 - Target schedule is set to build police college

Sep 27 - Stakeholders convene to discuss police college

Aug 24 - Police college sod-turning

Aug 16 - Police college sod-turning Mon. Aug. 22

Jul 26 - Fort Macleod puts more cash toward college

May 17 - Province moving ahead with police college plans

May 03 - Council okays transfer of police college land

Apr 05 - Police college site work could start in summer

Dec 01 - Macleod finds way to build police college

Dec 01 - Macleod pitches co-op to build police college

Nov 30 - Macleod feels positive about police college

Aug 25 - Police college partner possible

Aug 18 - Council works on own plan for police college

Jul 07 - Calgary project no threat to police college

Jun 09 - Mayor pushes solicitor general for collect action

Mar 31 - Macleod’s neighbours support police college

Mar 31 - Mayor says government just has to make college a priority

Dec 30 - MD council writes to support police college

Dec 02 - Southern Alberta backs police college

Nov 25 - Regional group lobbies for police college

Sep 23 - Police college has not been shelved — yet

Jul 29 - Mayor: ‘Police college project not cancelled’

May 06 - Infrastructure minister says college a priority

Apr 22 - Facebook page supports police college

Apr 01 - Council lobbies for progress on police college

Feb 18 - Solicitor General urges police college patience

Nov 04 - Police college discussed during Question Period

Nov 04 - Macleod mayor confident police college is coming

Oct 21 - Fort Macleod ‘anxious’ for police college start

Apr 16 - Province gets nine police college proposals

Mar 12 - Macleod can do business with police college

Sep 05 - Province reviews police college P3 proposals

Jun 26 - Police college Web site created

Jun 06 - Police college project is on track

May 30 - Police college officials visit Fort Macleod

May 23 - Police college headlines open house

Mar 28 - Solicitor General: ‘Police college is coming to Macleod’

Jan 31 - Mayor strikes police college committee

Nov 22 - Steering committee meets to discuss police college

Sep 13 - Opportunity knocking for Fort Macleod

Sep 13 - Macleod prepares to guide growth

Sep 13 - Police college is Fort Macleod’s destiny

Sep 13 - Mayor weathers police college criticism

Sep 13 - Fort Macleod celebrates successful college bid

Sep 06 - Fort Macleod lands Alberta police college

Sep 06 - P3 partners sought for police college

Sep 06 - Police training centre will be world-class

Dec 21 - Council designates land for police college

Dec 21 - Macleod’s police college bid in province’s hands

Nov 23 - Task force builds police college bid

Nov 02 - Council still pursuing college