Pitt Meadows council has OK’d a new fire hall design that will be higher than the existing building, while the cost is also rising.
The new fire hall will be on the existing lot on 122A Avenue and Harris Road. That lot had originally been deemed too small – but the new building will be three storeys high, with underground parking. Council endorsed a conceptual design last Tuesday, telling staff to proceed with the detailed design.
The new hall likely will cost more than the $10 million projected, with estimates now close to $15 million at the high end. However, city staff reported that facility reserves can cover the costs without a tax increase.
In 2016, roughly $10 million was earmarked for a new fire hall. Since then, space to accommodate a fully operational emergency operations centre, underground parking, and provision for future needs and temporary site was added to the project scope.
This increased the high-level project cost estimate to between $13.2 to $14.9 million. As the design progresses, the scope and project cost will be refined.
“The total cost to build a new fire hall will be funded by internal reserves without the need to borrow and without a tax increase,” said chief administrative officer Mark Roberts.
“During detailed design, staff will explore grant opportunities (and) review project scope to ensure the appropriate size building is constructed while achieving operational needs.” The city wants its new fire hall to last half a century.
“This forward-thinking design will provide the best facility possible for the city for the next 50 years and enhance Pitt Meadows Fire Rescue and Services response capabilities,” said Mayor Bill Dingwall.
“The new fire hall will also have a dedicated EOC which is critical for our ability to effectively support our community during a major emergency.”
The project involves demolition and temporary relocation of the existing fire hall. It will be moved to the gravel parking lot west of the Pitt Meadows Family Recreation Centre. The fire service will remain fully operational throughout construction.
Both the temporary location and the existing fire hall site are at the centre of Pitt Meadows, which provides easy access to firefighters from their homes to facilitate a quick emergency response, said a city press release.
“This much-needed new fire hall will provide our members with the space and facilities to operate in a safe manner, conduct important training and give the community the best level of service,” said fire chief Mike Larsson.
The new building will replace the existing fire hall which opened in 1983. Construction is expected to begin in the spring of 2020 and is anticipated to take approximately two years to complete.
This fall, the city will host an information session for residents of the proposed designs. Detailed design and cost estimates will be presented near the end of 2019.