City seeks ideas for Victoria fire hall

Final decisions on Fire Hall No. 1 and Crystal Pool will not be made until completion of city-wide facilities assessment.

The City of Victoria is looking into non-traditional partnerships with individuals and organizations that may have an interest in the renovation or replacement of Fire Station No. 1.

These potential collaborations will be discovered through a 10-week market sounding.

Collaborations may include options such as housing or a library in the fire hall, said Mayor Lisa Helps.

The purpose of the market sounding is to discover ideas that could help shape something really innovative, said Helps.

Council approved a recommendation to consider immediate priority items for Crystal Pool and Fitness Centre as part of the proposed 2015 financial plan, and to also consider future investment options upon completion of the city-wide facilities assessment.

The estimated cost of the priority repairs such as replacement of dome panels, new storm and sanitary pipes and safety upgrades to the chlorine system is $585,000.

A public engagement project plan will also be developed while the assessment is being conducted, and is to be deployed after the completion of the assessment.

Helps said no decisions will be made on Fire Hall No. 1 or Crystal Pool until the facilities assessment report is received in October, outlining the conditions of all city-owned buildings and what capital investments will need to be made.

“We own 100 or so buildings, and we know very little about the condition of many of those,” said Helps. “If we had known the condition of the fire hall and Crystal Pool, for example, when the [Johnson Street] bridge decision was originally made, I don’t think we would be building a $100 million bridge.”

 

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