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  • Project completion date: October 2011
  • Client: Department of public works

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Cradock Police Station

The official opening of the new Cradock Police station by the Minister of Police, Mr Mthetwa, on the 21st of October 2011, was the culmination of a long process for the Professionals and construction team that began in December 2005.

The local community had agitated for many years to have a Police station built closer to the township community. Cradock has a reputation and history of being highly politicised and the siting of a new Police station was a sensitive issue. Constructing the new Police station in a neutral zone between the townships and the old town centre was desirable, with the entrance facing North to avoid giving preference to either township or old town centre.

Paramount was job creation and the urgent start of work. In order to fast track productivity, the civil works was split from the main contract as a separate tender in order to get a Contractor on site as soon as possible. Bulk services, building platforms and the electrical supply building commenced as a phase 1 of the development.

There was a strong desire from Police to not only have a state of the art Police station but to be innovative in the design of the public service centre that fronts the complex. Crucial to this was to have a clearly visible service centre with plenty of space and counters to deal with a large number of people. The layering of service counters was proposed to deal with minor issues up front and reduce the pressure of numbers on the main charge office counter. The inclusion of a discrete victims support unit provided a much needed facility. The clustering of relevant administrative offices around the core of the service centre placed relevant persons close to the public. The more hard core workings of the Police station are set further back, featuring a state of the art Local Criminal Records Centre, a highly secure cell block, Police facilities and stores. The complex was designed over two levels and use made of the sloping site and an internal ramp to avoid the need for a lift. Materials were chosen for low maintenance, and orientation, insulation and shading devices utilised to minimise heating and cooling requirements.

Emphasis was placed on the employment of local labour and artisans for mainly brickwork and plastering. The contractor was also required to implement the Expanded Public Works program on site to employ and train labour deployed to site through the EPWP system.

Works completion was achieved on the 21st of October 2011.

The new police station has been well received by Police. The new premises are expected to be morale boosting, productivity enhancing and a new positive image for Police. It heralds a new era, moving beyond the former fragmented accommodation in the old town, to a new unified facility serving the entire community.

2011 Thembela Architects all rights reserved.