Shovels are in the ground to build a new multi-purpose fire hall # 1 in downtown Nanaimo, capping a roller-coaster ride to advance the project.
A groundbreaking ceremony took place Wednesday for the facility budgeted at $20 million to be constructed beside the current seismically unsound fire hall # 1 on Fitzwilliam St. at Milton St.
Fire chief Karen Fire said consolidating five key services under one roof, while moving front line firefighters to the bottom floor is among numerous features to improve community safety.
“They’ll have easy access from their quarters out to the apparatus bay,” chief Fry said in front of an excavator for the project.
The 23,000 sq/ft two-and-a-half bay hall will include a communications hub filled with monitors to oversee City infrastructure and coordinate large scale emergency responses.
“The third floor will be our emergency operations centre where we have representatives from not only the City but from the community to help manage emergencies in a large scale event,” Fry said.
The new fire hall will also house emergency dispatchers, administration staff, and loss and prevention officers.
The City’s manager of engineering and public works Bill Sims told NanaimoNewsNOW their contractor is expected to begin meaningful on-site work next week, while an anticipated opening is a little over two years away.
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