Manitoba·City hall briefs

City still spending money to shore up unsafe Public Safety Building exterior

The Public Safety Building may be closed, but it still presents a public-safety hazard.​

Tyndall-stone walls on shuttered police HQ still in danger of falling on passersby

The PSB is vacant, but work still must be conducted to stabilize its crumbling Tyndall-stone facade. (Google Streetview)

The Public Safety Building may be closed, but it still presents a public-safety hazard.​

The City of Winnipeg plans to spend an unspecified sum of money — likely in the tens of thousands — this summer to shore up the crumbling Tyndall-stone facade of the Public Safety Building, the former headquarters for the Winnipeg Police Service.

The 50-year-old brutalist structure was decommissioned this week, after the police service completed its move into its new headquarters on Graham Avenue. The city plans to demolish the Public Safety Building after public consultations about potential reuses for the space are completed.

In the meantime, loose sections of the building's facade remain unsafe and must be shored up "so that limestone doesn't fall on passersby," city spokeswoman Alissa Clark said Friday in a statement.

The city has issued a tender for a contractor interested in stabilizing the limestone. The bid period closes on July 19 and the search documents suggest the city doesn't expect to spend more than $25,000 on the work.

Clark described the repairs as annual maintenance costs that must be conducted before demolition takes place.

The need to repair the PSB's crumbling facade is what led the city to buy the former Canada Post complex on Graham Avenue and convert it into a new headquarters for police. That project was approved by council at $135 million in 2009 but has cost the city $214 million to date.

It has also been the subject of two scathing external audits and an RCMP investigation into fraud and forgery allegations regarding the construction work. The decision to buy the Canada Post complex has also left the city with a mostly vacant office tower on Graham Avenue, attached to the new police HQ, as well as the vacant PSB.

Police on the hunt for zodiacs

The Winnipeg Police Service needs a pair of new specialty vehicles - this time for the city's rivers, rather than streets.

The city has issued a call for the "supply and delivery of rapid-deployment water-rescue vehicles," according to a bid posted on the city's website.

They amount to a pair of zodiacs with motors, city spokeswoman Michelle Finley said. The existing police zodiacs are at the end of their useful life, she said.