Sod was turned Friday, March 31 to kick off construction of the new community safety building in Sidney.
The $10 million project will see a new, earthquake-resistant building constructed on Victoria Airport Authority and municipal land south of the Mary Winspear Centre and visible from the Pat Bay Highway.
The community safety building will replace the existing fire hall and also house the members and vehicles of the local BC Ambulance Service.
Sidney Fire Chief Brett Mikkelsen says the new structure will offer the department more space and better training facilities to meet the demands of a town that has seen the development of more multi-story residential buildings in recent years.
Following Town Crier Kenny Podmore’s introduction, Mayor Steve Price thanked the many people who have been involved in the project from day one — 2008 and even earlier. Price noted that many people — from former Fire Chief Jim Tweedhope to members of council that came before him — made this new building possible. Representatives of a local First Nation, while invited, were unable to be at the ceremony.
The building will be located next to the highway and between the Town’s public works yard and the Mary Winspear Centre. Emergency vehicles will come and go via a planned new access road to Bevan Avenue. The Town will enter into an agreement with the Memorial Park Society (operators of the Winspear Centre) to use their land for that access point. Sidney and the Victoria Airport Authority have already entered into a long-term lease so the Town can use the site for the building.
The project, being overseen by Kinetic Construction, is expected to begin with foundation work in April, with completion anticipated by the fall of 2018.