Saint John police headquarters delayed again

Saint John police won't be moving into their new headquarters this month as scheduled, due to more construction delays with the Peel Plaza project.

Saint John police won't be moving into their new headquarters this month as scheduled.

Completion of the Peel Plaza project, which includes the police headquarters, has been delayed again, putting it more than eight months behind schedule.

The project is also about $650,000 over its targeted cost, with another $350,000 anticipated, but still within the seven- to 12-per cent price overrun budgeted into the project.

Project manager Bill Edwards says a shortage of materials, unforeseen work and poor weather are to blame for the delays.

"Whether it was additional rock for the excavation company, or there were some complexities in the electrical contract, or some difficulty in getting materials for a roof in — any number of things add to the length of time, duration, which the construction is actually underway," he said.

The costs to the city are "primarily lost opportunity," said Edwards. "That opportunity would be moving out of city hall, and the rent associated with renting space in city hall for the police force."

The police headquarters was originally slated to be completed in February, but that was pushed back until mid-July. The new completion date is now expected to be early September.

The police force pays about more than $1 million per year in rent at the city hall building.

Meanwhile, the courthouse and parking garage, which are also part of the project, are now slated to open at the end of October.

The total cost of the Peel Plaza project is about $42 million.

Coun. David Merrithew says with added costs due to construction delays, the new council will have to make some decisions regarding landscaping and a proposed park.

"To take a walk up through there, and for the tourists off the cruise ship, I mean you do want it appealing to the eye. You know, we want to try to do it at the right cost, of course."

The previous council had budgeted $2 million for the landscaping and park.