Architects hired to firm up expected price tag for expanded Abbotsford police headquarters

City hands out $402,000 contract for pre-design work on expanded police HQ

The City of Abbotsford has handed out a contract to get a better sense of how much an expanded police headquarters will cost taxpayers

The Abbotsford Police Department has outgrown its current headquarters, and officers and support staff now operate out of six different facilities scattered around the city. Earlier this year, after hearing cost estimates and other details comparing an expanded headquarters to the construction of an entirely new building, council endorsed the former option. Although cheaper than building a completely new facility, the price tag for an expanded headquarters is expected to run upwards of $60 million.

RELATED: Proposed $60 million expansion of Abbotsford Police HQ moves forward

This week, the city announced it had awarded a $402,000 pre-design contract to Stantec Architecture.

Stantec’s pre-design work will firm up cost estimates, a staff report says.

In the spring, staff warned that the $59 million estimate for the project from the spring could rise or fall by as much as 20 per cent. That amounts to about $12 million.

“Once this phase of the project completed, the City will be in a position to make a more informed decision, with a higher reliance, on both the anticipated final design and costs for an expanded APD Facility,” the report says.

The resulting cost estimate still won’t be 100 per cent guaranteed.

It’s still unclear how, exactly, the city will pay for the new facility. The city has large amounts of reserves, but staff said in the spring that long-term debt may play a part. That would require residents approve such a loan through a referendum.

The existing headquarters dates back to 1988, when it served the Matsqui Police Department. That force had 74 officers at the time.

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