OTTAWA -- Plans for a new police station in Barrhaven could be put on pause because of rising construction costs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Ottawa Police Service planned to develop a new south campus on a 15-acre city-owned site on Lodge Road, adjacent to the Carleton Lodge and just south of the Vimy Memorial Bridge. 

The service has $118 million in funding set aside for the project. The South Campus would include facilities for frontline operations, the canine, tactical, marine and trail unit, and a collision reporting centre.

However, a report for Monday’s Ottawa Police Services Board meeting recommends a “project pause and reassessment strategy” for the facility, including cancelling the tender.

“Several factors have impacted progress on the project and have caused staff to rethink their approach,” said the report, outlining current market conditions and the impact of the pandemic on the materials and labour market.

The factors include:

Pandemic impacts on global markets

  • A 10 to 15 per cent increase in material costs during the COVID-19 pandemic, including for steel, concrete, wood, glass and copper prices. Mechanical equipment costs have jumped 25 per cent.

Labour shortage in the National Capital Region

  • Staff say in the last quarter of 2020, there was market inflation in Ottawa with the impact of Light Rail Transit Construction, three big federal development projects on Parliament Hill and the planned library project

Pandemic legislation changes

  • Staff say there are additional overhead costs to cover personal protective equipment, extra monitoring and production slowdowns due to the pandemic.

Additional premiums for protection clauses

  • Incurred further costs, including builder’s insurances and coverage for “force majeure” conditions.

The Ottawa Police Service says the project pause and reassessment strategy will align with the service’s commitment to “transform and change” in 2021 and beyond.

“During the pause, the OPS will work with City services and other partners to determine the best fit of services required to not 5 only serve the growing Ottawa south community, but also for the city as a whole, thereby realizing the potential benefits of a single integrated facility that offers policing,” said the report.

The new South Campus was originally scheduled to be completed in 2021, with the second phase, which includes a new Communication Centre for the call centre and 911 operators, to be completed in 2023.