Price estimate for Esquimalt’s new public safety building surges to $62.2M

Price estimate for Esquimalt's new public safety building surges to $62.2M
Courtesy of the Township of Esquimalt
A render of the new public safety building.

The projected cost for the proposed public safety building project in Esquimalt has ballooned by nearly $14 million.

The project, which will see the replacement of the demolished former public safety building, was originally pegged to cost $42 million in February 2021.

But after tenders were issued in December 2022, the new cost jumped up to $62.2 million.

A report released Wednesday calls the presented budget from the project’s construction manager “unexpected.”

The Township says the original budget was revisited in June 2022, when it was increased by $6 million.

At the time, Esquimalt staff adjusted the forecasted cost of the project and determined another $6 million was needed to finish it, bringing the grand total to $48 million.

Since then, it has ballooned by another $14 million. Esquimalt officials are attributing the cost to a skyrocketing construction industry.

A spokesperson with the Township of Esquimalt has stated that council is seeking grants to alleviate some of the burden of projected cost overruns. To date, the public safety building has not received any significant funding to offset the $62.2-million price tag.

To date, just under $7 million of the budget has been spent — mostly on renovations at the temporary police facility, removing the old public safety building, construction of the temporary fire hall, design work and consultation fees.

The Mayor of Esquimalt is calling the situation difficult.

“The reality is that costs continue to rise and we need to make decisions based on the most recent information available,” said Barbara Desjardins.

“Council is confident in the budgeting work done so far — staff have sought expert advice from construction professionals and local industry experts in all phases of the process. We need to ensure the community’s safety is maintained while balancing prudent spending.”

The former public safety building has already been demolished and the new project has an expected completion date of Spring 2025.

Roger CollinsRoger Collins

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