Sidney fire hall replacement plan outlined Feb. 2

Findings of feasibility study to be made public; new council to hear arguments.

A feasibility study into the replacement of the Sidney fire hall will be made public as the new municipal council hears from proponents of the plan. On Feb. 2, council holds a committee meeting with a focus on the study done by Bradley Shuya Architect Inc. as well as background information and rationale on why a new structure may be necessary.

The Town of Sidney started the feasibility study in 2014 and by September were reviewing conceptual plans that showed a new community safety building could be three storeys tall and located on land next to Sidney Elementary School.

That property, on Seventh Street, would have to be purchased from School District 63 (Saanich).

The Feb. 2 meeting will discuss not only the need for a replacement hall but the rationale behind why the location may be one of the best available.

Mayor Steve Price told the News Review on Monday the proposed location was deemed the best possible, taking into account factors like call volume and volunteer location.

“This is really a first opportunity for the newly-elected council to review the details and background surrounding this important project,” stated Price in a media release.

Part of the study being done includes potential traffic impacts of locating a new fire hall and ambulance station on Seventh Street. Price said there are examples in the region where the combination works successfully.

Price said that the Town will present much of the same material to the school board on Feb. 11. From there, he said negotiations would commence on the purchase price of the land.

He added there’s no overall project price tag yet — that will come once the land cost is established and detailed engineering plans for the building are complete. At this point, Price said those plans won’t proceed until the land question is firmed up.

Price said he hopes people will attend the Feb. 2 meeting and see for themselves the threats to the current fire hall in the event of a disaster and the initial plan to replace it with something that will last 50-plus years. The committee meeting is set to begin at 6 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 2.