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City of Nanaimo springs for sprung structure to house fire trucks

Structure used during Fire Station 1 construction will be permanently set up behind Fire Station 2
A temporary sprung structure that sheltered fire trucks while the new downtown fire station was being constructed will be permanently set up to shelter reserve fire trucks at Nanaimo Fire Rescue Station 2. (News Bulletin file photo)

The city requires $100,000 to pay for design work and permitting to permanently set up a sprung structure to house firefighting vehicles behind Fire Station 2.

The request from staff was made in a report to the finance and audit committee March 15.

The structure was used during construction of the new Fire Station 1 to shelter fire trucks so they could continue responding from the downtown location at 666 Fitzwilliam St. When the city acquired the structure it opted to purchase, rather than lease it, because the costs were similar and the city would be able to reuse it at another location once construction of the new fire station was complete.

With new equipment on the way and a need for more storage space, the structure is slated to be set up permanently on a prepared site behind in the Vancouver Island Emergency Response Academy training facility on Labieux Road behind Fire Station 2.

“The most appropriate use really is for fire apparatus storage, weather-proof storage for reserve apparatus … so there’s a project that we’ve developed, in concept, to pour a concrete pad and develop and service and re-erect the sprung structure at that location,” said Bill Sims, general manager of engineering and public works.

Sims said the city wants to get started on the design and permitting work in 2023.

Coun. Ben Geselbracht asked if there was anywhere else Nanaimo Fire Rescue could store reserve fire apparatus, and Nanaimo Fire Rescue chief Tim Doyle said storage space for the equipment is at a premium.

“As part of the [fire master plan], adding 20 firefighters this August and then adding another 20 firefighters in January, it’s compelling us to really maximize our square footage,” Doyle said. “So, we’re really going to be pressed on space in our existing four stations. We can fit everyone in, but it will put us right at the limit of our capacity.”

The re-erected structure will include electrical power, sprinkler fire suppression system and other features of a permanent building.

The total cost for installation could be as high as $768,000, based on an initial cost estimate prepared by the contractor for Fire Station 1, but Sims said, in an e-mail to the News Bulletin, that the cost could come in lower.

“We are carrying that estimated price they’ve provided, but actually expect that it will be significantly less if we have a smaller group do the design, and a local contractor prepare the site,” he said.

Sims said a final figure will also depend on construction market conditions. The $100,000 will be drawn from the special initiatives reserve.

READ ALSO: Inflation drives up cost of new fire truck for Nanaimo

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Chris Bush

About the Author: Chris Bush

As a photographer/reporter with the Nanaimo News Bulletin since 1998.
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