February 2020

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F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0 | 49 Spyhill Services Centre – Calgary Police Service P H OTO G R A P H Y BY J O EL K L A SS EN (TO P)/CO U RT E SY S TA N T EC A RC H I T EC T U R E LT D.; L AT I T U D E P H OTO G R A P H Y (C EN T R E)/CO U RT E SY C A N A CO N S T RU C T I O N LT D. SPYHILL SERVICES CENTRE – CALGARY POLICE SERVICE by ROBIN BRUNET F rom the exterior, a new facility nearing completion in Calgary's Spyhill district could easily pass for a secondary school, with the abun- dant glazing of the two-storey main building and what seems like an adjoining gym. In fact, this is Calgary Police Service's Spyhill Services Centre, and what seems like a gym is a deten- tion centre, with security throughout being world-class: just ask the police squad that was engaged to try and wreck the facility. The Spyhill Services Centre replaces the 60-year-old arrest pro- cessing facility in downtown Calgary. "When we undertook the design of the project about seven years ago, Spyhill was a far more economically-feasible area in which to develop compared to Calgary's downtown core," says Jennifer Lessard, staff sergeant for the Calgary Police Service and operational lead for the project. The new facility includes 47 indi- vidual holding cells designed with suicide mitigation measures; two bail hearing rooms; lunch room, meeting rooms, gym, a meditation room and offices for staff; a green roof, high- efficiency mechanical components, and other sustainable features. Peggy Flanigan, senior manager in charge of infrastructure services for Calgary Police Services, notes that Stantec Architecture Ltd. tack- led the challenges of the new facility after a blueprint for the broader site was developed in 2013. "Our goal was to leverage leading-edge knowledge on how to build a detention facility that is reliable and resilient, but also psychologically calming to staff and detainees," she says. Enzo Vicenzino, VP at Stantec Architecture Ltd., says, "On one hand we wanted a good portion of the facil- ity to be welcoming and inviting, but another portion obviously had to be very secure, and it was vital that the processing and detention components be segregated to prevent male, female, juvenile, and other detainees from crossing paths." These mandates led to outcomes that were both logical and surprising. "For example, we presumed the staff gym, lunch, and meditation rooms would be located in a basement," says Flanigan. "But the architects located these areas on the second floor in order to access views of the Rocky Mountains." A surprising outcome was the colour scheme Stantec employed, based on extensive input from user groups and other sources. "We were certain the psychologically calming colours would be shades of blue or other hues, but crèmes and white turned out to be the best choice," says Flanigan. Natural light penetration into the holding cells was deemed yet another calming component, so Stantec incor- porated clerestory windows around the upper perimeter of the detention cen- tre; this enables light to spill into the corridors and through the large win- dows in the doors of each holding cell. Flanigan adds, "Inside, the pro- cesses of booking, medical, and the taking of the detainee's effects were carefully arranged by Stantec to flow in one direction – no doubling back." CANA Construction Ltd. broke ground on the greenfield site towards the end of 2017. The detention facility was made of precast concrete pan- els for security as well as speed of erection; the staff building was steel frame, and both facilities received separate mechanical systems because of different venting requirements. "Our building envelope earned the most LEED points, as well as our green roof and the many high-efficiency building systems," says Vicenzino. But by far the most remarkable aspect of the project was Calgary Police Services' unique method of testing the detention centre for its resiliency. "On December 10 of last year, when the facility was nearly com- pleted, we brought in 30 undercover officers and gave them 10 minutes to bust everything up as severely as possible," says Lessard. "While the building was mainly secure, they managed to kick down a few doors and break through drywall. They even accessed the vents in the roof." This enabled Stantec and CANA to review the damage and employ dif- ferent materials where required (such as stainless steel benches replaced by concrete benches, as harmful pieces of steel were broken off of the former). Given that Spyhill's residential neighbourhood will eventually expand, Vicenzino is especially satisfied with the staff component of the Services Centre. "A lot of the buildings we've designed for the City of Calgary are open and wel- coming, and this is no exception: you can see right into it," he says. Flanigan concludes, "This is a once in a lifetime building for us, designed to last at least 60 years – and we're very much looking forward to a spring opening." A LOCATION 12500 85 Street NW, Calgary, Alberta OWNER /DEVELOPER Calgary Police Service ARCHITECT/STRUCTUR AL CONSULTANT Stantec Architecture Ltd. GENER AL CONTR ACTOR CANA Construction Ltd. MECHANICAL CONSULTANT TYZ Engineering ELECTRICAL CONSULTANT MP&P Engineering CIVIL CONSULTANT Jubilee Engineering Ltd. TOTAL SIZE 49,000 square feet TOTAL COST $25 million 12:20 PM 12:19 PM

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