Saanich examining $26M plan for replacing its fire station on Elk Lake Drive

Construction is expected to start next year and finish in 2023 for ­Saanich’s $26-million replacement and ­expansion of its fire station on Elk Lake Drive.

The project is part of Saanich’s facilities renewal master plan, which examines the condition and requirements for municipal buildings and infrastructure.

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“This one at Royal Oak is our top priority,” Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes said Monday.

“It’s an older building and the new upgrade is going to add significantly to our ability to respond to any emergency related to fire call outs in the area and also give extra support for our regional neighbours.”

As the population grows, this station is designed to handle rising demand. It will have room for additional emergency vehicles and address a shortage of storage space for fire apparatus.

Saanich has been setting aside a portion of tax revenue toward the new fire hall since 2014. It will also be applying for grants, Haynes said. “It’s actually very prudent fiscal management.”

Detailed plans for the Fire Station No. 2 are being reviewed by district staff.

The goal is not only to build a new fire station but to set up the district’s main fire suppression training facility on an enlarged site.

A rezoning and development permit are required. The proposal includes a property consolidation across Viewmont Avenue.

The building will be built to meet the gold standard in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

First Nations artwork will be featured, Haynes said.

“It has been designed with excellent look and feel.”

It came about following consultation with the area residents. An improved transit stop and pedestrian route as well as upgraded landscaping are planned.

The design will see the new station built to a post-disaster standard, using mass timber.

“The project was approved based on an 80-year-life cycle analysis reflecting lowered utility and operation costs due to the high performance design goal of a net zero energy consumption target,” said ­Kelsie McLeod, Saanich communications manager.

cjwilson@timescolonist.com

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