Saugeen Shores Mayor Mike Smith [left, with shovel] and Saugeen Shores Police Service Board Chair Luke Charbonneau [right, with shovel] turn the sod for the new Saugeen Shores Police Service headquarters in Port Elgin. (Photo by Jordan Mackinnon)

Construction begins on police headquarters for Saugeen Shores

Construction is officially underway on the new Saugeen Shores Police Service headquarters.

Mayor Mike Smith was on hand Thursday to turn the sod on the new $6.8 million facility on MacKenzie Road at the north end of Port Elgin, just a block from the current building, which was built just over 15 years ago.

Smith said the municipality is booming, and the police service needs more space.

“This is the fastest growing community in Bruce County, we’ve grown substantially since restructuring in 1998 & ’99, the needs of the community also grow with that,” said Smith. “And with that, we need a modern police service to deal with the issues with our police service and our community.”

Chief Mike Bellai said while his officers have learned to adapt to the cramped conditions in the current building, the new build is designed to ensure there’s room to grow if needed.

“A building like this in the way that it’s designed so that on this spot, it can actually grow if it needs to in the future by adding on to this spot, so that we’re not in the situation we’re in now that we have to go to a different site,” said¬†Bellai. “To have the proper facility is very important.”

Chief Bellai said construction crews have been on-site for a few weeks and have poured the foundation.  The building is expected to be finished in late 2019 or early 2020.