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Tofino RCMP detachment earns VIREB award

$10 million public safety building earns Vancouver Island Real Estate Board award.
Cpl. Stu Hert of the Tofino RCMP stands outside the town’s new $10 million police detachment building, which opened on June 24, 2019. (Westerly file photo)

Tofino’s RCMP detachment is being heralded for its design and functionality.

The $10 million public safety building, which opened in June of 2019, received an award of merit from the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board’s Commercial Building Awards.

“From the bottom up this building is not only architecturally pleasing, but is a very functional accomplishment,” read the awards’ event book, published Oct. 1. “The RCMP Public Safety Building in the heart of Tofino was designed to reflect the community’s growth by maxing out the building footprint to ensure its functionality and long term use.”

The 12,900 sq. ft. building was also recognized for its energy efficiency.

“The building includes a host of standard RCMP security features, along with radiant floor heating in the admin area and energy efficient heating, cooling and lighting systems throughout the rest of the space,” the event book reads.

Tofino RCMP detachment commander Sgt. Todd Pebernat told the Westerly News he was happy to see the hard work of everyone involved with creating the new space recognized.

“This was a big undertaking and the new building will serve the community for years to come,” he said. “I am thrilled with the new office and would like to extend a big thank you to all the community members who offered their words of support as we transitioned from the old detachment to this big, beautiful building.”

He added the new detachment has brought additional benefits to local police, like the ability to provide in-house training.

“Bringing in instructors is far more efficient to get the members the ongoing training and development that they need. We also are able to host meetings with our external partners, like our mental health meetings with our partners from VIHA. We also have a far better facility for Victim Services, a vital service to victims of crime,” he said. “In event of serious incidents, we have the room to host specialty sections who regularly attend to provide investigative support; these are just a few ways that this new detachment allows us to better serve the community.”

The awards presentation was held virtually this year due to the coronavirus pandemic and Greg Constable of Island West Coast Developments, the detachment’s general contractor, accepted the award through an online video.

“It’s definitely a unique building and we’re very proud of it,” Constable said. “There was a lot of interesting things that went into this building…They had some kind of crazy floating glulam staircase that some architect created and came up with, which took a small crane to put in.”

He added that the building required specific security features and said a unique exterior was created to help the building fit into its Tofitian landscape.

“It has zinc panels on the outside and I’m assuming they were going for the mariner theme up there,” he said adding building the detachment in West Coast weather proved challenging.

“Obviously the weather conditions up there, for construction and everything else, made it even more difficult and challenging for us to complete,” he said. “We went through one winter up there and I remember even seeing a portable washroom go flying across the parking lot with the winds up there.”

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Andrew Bailey

About the Author: Andrew Bailey

I arrived at the Westerly News as a reporter and photographer in January 2012.
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