Emergency services centre to be built

A new state-of-the-art facility will bring local emergency services under one roof.

Officially called the Barrie-Simcoe Emergency Services Campus, the project will bring together police, paramedic and fire service functions in one location, at 110 Fairview Road in Barrie. The innovative partnership arrangement maximizes cost-effectiveness and service efficiency.

“The entire campus will provide efficiencies for all three services and better serve the community by being centrally located,” said city facility planning and development manager Lindsay Worton.

With shared spaces and one mechanical, electrical, waste disposal system for the entire complex, officials say there are savings to be had. When compared to stand-alone facilities, the campus model will save about $15 million (15 per cent) in capital costs plus $370,000 (18 per cent) annually in operations and maintenance costs.

The site is also large enough to support a burgeoning Barrie. With an additional 50,000 residents forecast over the next 10 years, Worton says the campus project is “aligned for growth.”

The campus is being designed with the flexibility to accommodate the community’s needs for the next 25 years.

“It’s also a really great community opportunity for the emergency services providers to use the community space we’re building to help educate and bring the community together,” added Worton.

Early site preparations for the first phase are slated to begin in late fall. A 179,200-square-foot administrative centre includes space for Barrie Police headquarters, Simcoe County Paramedic Services and Barrie Fire and Emergency Service dispatch communications. In addition, a separate police vehicle repair garage will be built. Construction is expected to start early next year. Phase two, a multidisciplinary police and fire training facility, will be deferred to a later date.

The phase one budget is $103 million.

“As Barrie continues to grow, we must find new and innovative ways to deliver services,” said Mayor Jeff Lehman, in a news release. “This emergency services campus presents a unique opportunity to rethink and redefine how these services are delivered to our residents.”

A community information session is planned in September. Details will be announced on the City of Barrie and Simcoe County websites and social media platforms as well as by letter to area residents.

Visit barrie.ca for more information.

Photo: a concept drawing of the Barrie-Simcoe Emergency Services Campus, courtesy of the City of Barrie.

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