February 24, 2022
Nearly a year after breaking ground at 1045 Miller Road, the new Fire Hall and Emergency Operations Centre is nearing completion, with final inspection and occupancy expected in mid-April.
The new main Fire Hall is one of the Municipality’s major capital projects. Bowen Island has outgrown the old Grafton Road Fire Hall and the site it sits on. With more islanders to protect, more volunteer firefighters, more and bigger equipment to house—and modern health, safety and service standards that it simply cannot meet—the old Hall has become deficient and leaves the community at risk.
In 2017 the Municipality proposed to build a new Fire Hall and Emergency Operations Centre on the north end of Lot 3 of the Community Lands, located on the east side of Miller Road. It will be a modern facility of sufficient size to meet current and future needs, yet modest and affordable at the same time.
The location and funding were approved in 2017, but delays came about when the project received unfavourable bids that were significantly higher than the available budget.
After a review of the project design, the project team refined aspects of the building to bring it closer to the available budget with a reasonable increase. The resulting design is as modest as possible without compromising the minimum operations of the department to address the community need.
“We are certainly looking forward to moving in.” said Aaron Hanen, Fire Chief, “We’re hosting this summer’s Annual Open House at the new facility, and we look forward to the opportunity to host many more community events.”
Staff have applied for grant funding from BC Hydro’s Community ReGreening Program for landscaping the property with native and drought tolerant plant species.
As promised, the large Douglas fir that had to be removed from the site before construction will be put to good purpose - it will be milled into lumber as a high school shop project and used to build a structure that will house the 1969 International Pumper Truck, the first truck purchased by the department and stored for heritage preservation and display.