The city is looking into setting up a temporary fire station atop Burnaby Mountain after pushing back the timeline for the completion of a new SFU fire hall.
After awarding a $50-million contract in May for two new fire halls (a new station on Burnaby Mountain and a replacement for Fire Station 4 on Duthie Avenue), the city told the NOW the projected completion date for both would be late fall 2023.
In a news release this week, however, the city said construction on the SFU project is now expected to begin in early 2023, and projected completion has been pushed to early 2024.
When the contract for the fire halls was announced, city officials touted the efficiency of integrated project delivery (IDP), a new project delivery model the city was using to expedite the building of the fire stations.
“We are still using the IPD model and anticipate rapid delivery of (the SFU fire station),” city communications manager Chris Bryan told the NOW this week. “What we’re talking about is a matter of just a few weeks … As you can imagine, when you’re delivering fairly large projects, you have a certain level of certainty as you go into it, and, as you get into it deeper, you get better certainty in terms of what you can predict and in terms of availability of materials and labour, etc.”
The new fire hall will be built in a corner of Discovery Park on University Drive between Tower Road and Nelson Way.
But people living, working and studying on Burnaby Mountain may not have to wait until 2024 to have firefighters on hand in case of emergencies, according to Bryan.
The city is already in the process of hiring firefighters and procuring equipment for the new hall, and city officials are exploring the idea of setting them up in a temporary fire station, according to Bryan.
“It won’t be a full-service, three-bay fire hall-type operation, but there will be a full crew up there and space as well as a vehicle for that period,” he said.
The timeline for the Duthie fire hall replacement has not changed, according to Bryan, and ground is expected to break on that project in the “next month or two.”
All that’s missing is an announcement from the city about where it will be built.
The city has already confirmed the 66-year-old station won’t be rebuilt where it is now.