Skip to content

Firehall construction underway, Y access changes Monday

A worker levels out concrete on the new firehall being built on Massey Drive. Bill Phillips photo

If you’re headed to the YMCA of Northern B.C. on Monday, be aware that the access has changed.

As of Monday, October 14, the existing access to the YMCA of Northern BC will no longer be accessible. As part of the project design for the new firehall under construction next door, the new entrance to the YMCA will be off Del Laverdure Way, on the south side of the facility off Massey Drive, directly across from Masich Place Stadium.

“The Y is really excited to see the firehall being here,” said Amanda Alexander, CEO. “It’s a really important thing for our community, it’s going improve the safety of our neighbourhood.”

She said they have been busy getting the message out that access will change.

Construction of the new firehall, to replace the aging Fire Hall #1, is moving ahead as crews are pouring concrete for the building’s foundation and expect to begin installing structural beams and columns next week.

“We are on schedule,” said project manager Leland Hanson. “Over the next few months, structural steel will go up. That’s quite a sight to see. It goes up fairly quickly and you’ll get a good sense of how large the building is.”

After that, the building envelope will be constructed, followed by the roof and then windows.

Even though temperatures are starting to dip, pouring of the concrete is not affected.

“IDL has a machine that actually heats the ground before they pour,” he said. “There are precautions that the concrete company makes in the mix, and after they pour it will be covered with insulated tarps.”

Crews are also currently constructing a new water main that will run from the intersection of Massey Drive and Carney Street to the Fire Hall construction site. In addition, bricklayers are arriving this week to begin the “block work” that will make up the walls of the facility. Later this fall, construction of the roof will begin.

On Sunday, crews reopened all of the lanes on Massey Drive to traffic. For a few months, traffic diverted around the work site to allow crews to widen the entrance from Massey Drive to Del Laverdure Way and to add a new bus lane, meridians, and concrete sidewalks.

The replacement of Fire Hall #1 follows a referendum in October 2017, during which residents voted nearly 83 per cent in favour of borrowing up $15 million to re-build the firehall, which is more than 60 years old. The new fire hall will be approximately 50 per cent larger than the current facility and have the capacity to house a modern Emergency Operations Centre and Fire Operations Communications Centre. The new location is more centralized and will greatly increase the area firefighters are able to reach within the critical eight-minute response time.

In 2018, the City appointed HCMA Architects and Planning of Vancouver and an engineering design team led by L&M Engineering of Prince George to design the replacement Fire Hall #1 at the new location in Carrie Jane Gray Park. The new Fire Hall is expected to be completed by next fall.

What do you think about this story?