Edmonton

New Edmonton police campus still leaking as city launches lawsuit

The City of Edmonton is still trying to pin down what’s wrong with its new police building seven months after publicly announcing it was investigating leaks in the roof.

Price tag on Northwest Police campus up to $112M from $107M before delays

Construction on the now $112M Edmonton Police Service Northwest Campus started in 2016. (Pete Evans/CBC)

The City of Edmonton is still trying to pin down what's wrong with its new police building seven months after publicly announcing it was investigating leaks in the roof. 

Last July, the city announced the Edmonton Police Service Northwest Campus at 127th Street north of Anthony Henday Drive would not be ready to open in late 2019 as scheduled because of structural problems. 

Jesse Banford, acting branch manager of infrastructure, said the city is working with contractors and consultants on repairs. 

"Very similar to the report we had in July, there [were] leaks within the facility, from July we started doing a lot of the destructive testing, investigation." 

The metal roof measures nearly three acres in size. Banford said they're working to identify the source of the leak and this time of year is the best opportunity to see if the repairs are working. 

"We needed to go through the freeze-thaw cycle to ensure that the repairs are being administered."

The project is now estimated to cost $112 million, up from last year's price tag of $107 million. 

City council approved another $4.6 million in October for the project. 

The campus project has been in the works for several years and the city started building it in 2016. 

City Councillor Bev Esslinger said the problems are puzzling.

"My hope would be that you know when you design a building you've thought of all those things so it's surprising it happened and disappointing because of the delay to the community."

Coun. Jon Dziadyk is also disappointed. 

"I'm frustrated as the councillor for the area that the police have not been able to occupy this state of the art building," Dziadyk said. "And we still don't know where the leak is." 

$8M lawsuit

Part of the extra $4.6 million approved last fall is being used for litigation to recoup costs of the delays, Banford confirmed Friday. 

The city is suing nearly 40 individuals and groups related to the project, according to a statement of claim filed in December.  

The claim says the contractor, PCL construction, and IBI Group Architects are among those named in the $8 million lawsuit. 

"We hold everybody accountable," Banford said. "They're working with us, we're working with them to come to the right solution." 

Banford said the city is working toward opening the campus in spring this year.

Police are currently using another smaller facility in the northwest that doesn't have holding cells. 

@natashariebe

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