Saanich’s existing Fire Station #2 facility is set to be replaced with a two-storey, 22,000 square-foot facility. (District of Saanich)

Saanich fire station to receive green remodel after more than 40 years

New facility to feature solar panels, space for more emergency vehicles

Saanich Fire Station No. 2 on Elk Lake Drive is scheduled for an environmentally friendly redevelopment to a new two-storey facility with a roof covered in solar panels.

The existing 3,800 square-foot fire station has served Saanich for more than 40 years – mostly focusing on the growing neighbourhoods of Broadmead and Royal Oak.

“The District’s population has increased by 36 per cent since our fire station on Elk Lake Drive was built in 1978 which has put pressure on our services,” said Chief Mike Burgess with the Saanich Fire Department.

He explained that a larger facility is required to accommodate more emergency vehicles so crews can respond to the increasing number of calls.

READ ALSO: Saanich Fire Department leans into green technology

In 2018, council adopted a Strategic Facilities Master Plan in which municipal staff had ranked the District’s facilities that are in need of upgrades and Fire Station No. 2 was second on the list.

Staff determined that the structure itself didn’t properly conform to standards – specifically seismic – and that the fire hall’s small size was impacting the crew’s ability to deliver emergency services to residents.

Council approved the redevelopment and $26.6 million in funding for the project in May 2019.

The existing fire hall will be replaced with a two-storey, 22,000 square-foot facility that will reflect Saanich’s climate action goals, said Stacy McGhee, manager of strategic facilities planning, in a video produced by the District.

He explained that the new building will include space for eight firetrucks to be parked indoors – six more than the current facility houses – an expanded training yard and a lit pathway connecting Royal Oak Drive to Viewmont Avenue for cyclists and pedestrians.

READ ALSO: Saanich Fire celebrates 100th anniversary with party

The redevelopment will also be constructed from mass timber, have a flat roof for solar panels, meet the qualifications for B.C. Energy Step Code level 2 for commercial buildings, achieve LEED gold certification and have net-zero energy consumption.

District staff have prepared a development variance permit and rezoning application. A formal public consultation process and design review are expected to take place this year.

“We are thrilled to support the redevelopment of Fire Station No. 2 and look forward to sharing more information,” said Burgess.

Saanich staff expect construction to begin in 2021 and conclude in 2023.


@devonscarlett
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devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

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