New Saugeen Shores Police station officially opens on time and under budget

New Saugeen Shores Police station officially opens on time and under budget.

    Mayor Luke Charbonneau (C), former Police Chief Dan Rivett (L), current Chief Mike Bellai (L) and Police Services                                              Board Chair Dave Myette (R) cut the official opening ribbon

From state-of-the-art technology to the colours chosen, every detail in the new Saugeen Shores Police Station was carefully chosen by architect Grant Diemert after many consultations by Chief Mike Ballai with his police officers.

“This building has many one-of-a-kinds not found in any other police station that I know of,” said Diemert. “From the physical construction to the design for secure storage and to the areas that meet the needs of the officers and victims of violence, everything was considered down to the last detail.”

Diemert also said however, that recycling has been used throughout.  The community boardroom table for instance was built locally from ash trees that once surrounded Fairy Lake in Southampton but had to be removed due to the Emerald Ash Borer infestation.  While destructive to the live trees, the wood was still viable for use and the master craftsmen John and Jim Uhrig brothers of Southampton, known for their incredible talent in wood working, created the unique table that also incorporates electronics.  In addition, cell doors were removed from the former police station and re-used.

More than 100 people attended the opening where they heard Mayor Luke Charbonneau say that the building came in not only on time but also under budget, although a final dollar amount is still to be determined.

                           Visitors began to gather in the community boardroom
(L) Police Services Board Chair Dave Myette, Chief Mike Bellai, Mayor Luke Charbonneau, Police Board members Pat O’Connor, Deanna Buckland and Doug Freiburger

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Following the official opening ceremony, tours of the entire facility were offered to the many who attended.  Groups were taken through every aspect of the building, with the exception of the secure storage area.

Diemert explained that the building has used environmental construction and is energy efficient.  “There is also passive security throughout, such as using windows that cover all directions.  The building has also been designed for the specific location and can be expanded if needed in the future.  It also includes a secure internet exchange area.  “This area outside the facility means that if there is someone who is paying for a ‘kijiji’ exchange of goods they can safely do it here or if there is a joint custody situation, that too can be done here in a secure area outside.”

              Quiet courtyard

When it comes to the service personnel, Diemert explained that the architecture is important to make staff feel comfortable and safe.  “There are views, a quiet lunchroom and an internal courtyard that will lift spirits and keep morale positive.”


Although the facility has officially opened, service personnel will not be moving in until October 1st, therefore, the existing (old) police station is still operational.