Neepawa will be getting a brand-new RCMP detachment building sometime in early fall.
At a cost of up to $5 million, the new building is being constructed beside the town’s new firehouse, which opened on Sept. 19, 2019.
A new home for the Spruce Plains RCMP detachment was first mentioned 25 years ago in 1997. The current building, located on Mill Street, isn’t up to safety code, according to Colleen Synchyshyn, chief administrative officer for the Town of Neepawa.
“We had government services come out around 2016 or 2017, and they said it wasn’t meeting safety and security standards for what was required of the Government of Canada.”
The town began looking at retrofitting the old building, but soon realized that it wouldn’t be the best use of the community’s money. Instead, officials decided to put a tender out for construction of the new site.
“We said you know what … it’s time to spend some time looking and planning and finding another location.”
Synchyshyn said the next step was to begin talks with the province to get them on board with helping fund the new facility, which the province will lease for the next 25 years, since it’s being used not just by municipal members of the RCMP but provincial ones as well.
Now, the painting is finished, the carpets and flooring are in, and the transfer of items from the old building to the new will begin next month.
“Everybody is very excited,” Synchyshyn said.
Mark Morehouse has been with the RCMP for 36 years, and in the community of Neepawa for the last 12. The operations non-commissioned officer, who is retiring on Aug. 2, spent many years lobbying the town for a new RCMP detachment building.
“We did everything to keep it on the books and keep it going … it was really good dealing with [the town].”
While he won’t be able to enjoy the new facility, he’s happy that his co-workers at the Spruce Plains detachment will.
“They’re very happy. I think it’s a load off of everybody’s mind.”
Morehouse said he’s sure current members will be proud to work in the new state-of-the-art building once it’s open. He also said it will be a boon to the community for many years to come.
“It’s not just built for today, either. It’s built for tomorrow … it’s going to be something that the town and the RCMP should be proud of.”
Miranda Leybourne, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Brandon Sun