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New RCMP Depot dorm named for Fort Macleod

The design of the Fort Macleod Dorm is very similar to Fort Dufferin. Photo courtesy Friesen Tokar Architects Landscape Interior Designers.

A new dormitory at Depot Division, the RCMP national training centre in Regina, is being named after Fort Macleod.
Now under construction, Fort Macleod Dorm is one of three new dormitories that will house new recruits.
The new accommodations are being named to commemorate significant North West Mounted Police posts along the route of the force’s 1874 March West: Fort Dufferin, Fort Macleod, and Fort Walsh.
Construction began in December 2010, and is scheduled for completion in July 2012.
Present cadet facilities are outdated, said projects co-ordinator Sgt. Steve Smedley of the RCMP National Project Deliver Office in Regina.
“The existing cadet accommodation facilities at the RCMP Academy are as old as 60 years, and the buildings no longer meet the requirements of the cadet training program,” Smedley explained.
A new feature of the dorms is that males and females will be housed together — a first for national training centre.
“Importantly, the new dormitories have been designed to permit the accommodation of both male and female cadets of the same troop in the same dormitory,” Smedley said. “Until now, the genders have been separated, causing the fragmentation of the troops.”
When completed Fort Macleod Dorm will be four storeys high and will accommodate up to seven troops of 32 cadets each, for a total of 224 cadets.
The ground floor will also contain three classrooms and some administrative offices because the dormitory will be attached to the adjacent Applied Police Sciences Building.
Fort Macleod detachment head Sgt. Brent Hawker hadn’t heard about the construction of Fort Macleod Dorm but was pleased with the news.
“The old ones were called A, B, C, and D,” Hawker said. “That’s how they were named — after the original troops — A, B, C . . . When I went through I stayed in D Block.”
“It’s nice to see recognition being given to the original forts,” Hawker said. “It’s our local heritage.”
At present about 640 cadets a year learn the basics at Depot Division in Regina, the RCMP’s national training centre for new recruits. That number is expected to rise to about 1,120 in future years.
Other RCMP training centres exist in other regions but concentrate on in-service training.
Depot Division was established on Nov. 1, 1885 at the recommendation of Commissioner A.G. Irvine. It was based on a training facility of the Royal Irish Constabulary called “the Depot of Instruction” in Dublin, Ireland.

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