The Regional District of Nanaimo has green-lighted a funding request of close to $146,000 for upgrades to the Cranberry fire hall in South Wellington.
The community/fire hall structure was damaged in an October 2014 fire and while insurance covered some repairs, the Cranberry Fire Protection Improvement District board decided there should be additional upgrades, as construction is taking place anyway.
The $145,987 request will come from federal gas tax money.
Garry Hein, project manager and board member, said the group had heard that money was available and it decided to approach the regional district.
“After the fire, we looked at the building and we’re trying to decide whether we continue with this building or we repair the building and it was decided to repair the building,” said Hein.
“Our energy costs were fairly high and the building was not that efficient … the insurance did their rebuild, but the majority of our additions to that were energy upgrades, so we spent a lot of money on the building envelope and the heating systems,” Hein said.
The upgrades will include heat pumps, window replacement, LED lighting, heat recovery ventilators, exterior wall insulation and a washroom with wheelchair access. A covered bus stop for students, partially funded by a $3,000 community donation, is also part of the project.
The project has a total price tag of $1.2 million, with $784,482 covered by insurance and the remainder from the fire protection district.
Alec McPherson, regional district area director, said the hall plays an integral role in the community.
“We’ve missed that particular hall as a matter of fact for community meetings and things like that because both [Extension and East Wellington] and my area use that as a place for public meetings and things like that. It’s also used for the elections as well,” McPherson said.
The project is expected to be complete by the middle of September.