An artist’s rendering of Sidney’s planned new Community Safety Building.

Spring pile driving coming to Sidney

Construction on the Town’s new community safety bulding expected to begin in mid-June

Pile driving at the site of Sidney’s new community safety building is expected to begin in mid-June.

It’s the first phase of construction for the $10 million facility that will house the Sidney Fire Department and local BC Ambulance Service station. The official groundbreaking for the building took place March 31 and after a month of preparation and contract tendering, the municipality says site fencing should be going up within the next few weeks.

Randy Humble, Sidney’s chief administrative officer, says residents near the site will be notified of the work schedule for the pile-driving component of the work – once that schedule is completed. There is a large residential area to the immediate east of the construction area. Humble said any noise mitigation will be part of a detailed plan created by their contractor, Kinetic Construction. That plan is not expected until Kinetic and the Town finalize a sub-contract with a pile driving company.

That work is being done to ensure the community safety building meets modern earthquake safety standards. The facility is designed to withstand a quake and be Sidney’s main base of emergency response operations in the event of a disaster.

Over the next few weeks as well, the existing skateboard park will be demolished to make way for the project — and prepare the nearby land for the Town’s other project: a large parking lot designed to encourage people who work in Sidney to park there. A new skateboard park is currently under construction in Sidney’s Tulista Park, along a stretch of the community’s waterfront. The new skateboard facility is set to officially open on July 2.

The community safety building will replace the Town’s existing fire hall on Third Street. Sidney council voted last year to authorize the borrowing of up to $10 million for the project, but do not expect to have to borrow the maximum amount.

By using a combination of federal gas tax funds, lease payments form the BC Ambulance Service and proceeds from the expected sale of the old fire hall, Sidney hopes to keep its borrowing to a minimum.