Invested in Safety: A New Fire Hall for Bowen Island
Read the latest news and older project updates about the Fire Hall and Emergency Operations Centre project below.
New Fire hall and Emergency Operations Centre nears completion
Nearly a year after breaking ground at 1045 Miller Road, the new Fire Hall and Emergency Operations Centre is nearing completion, with final inspection and occupancy expected in mid-April.
The new main Fire Hall is one of the Municipality’s major capital projects. Bowen Island has outgrown the old Grafton Road Fire Hall and the site it sits on. With more islanders to protect, more volunteer firefighters, more and bigger equipment to house—and modern health, safety and service standards that it simply cannot meet—the old Hall has become deficient and leaves the community at risk.
In 2017 the Municipality proposed to build a new Fire Hall and Emergency Operations Centre on the north end of Lot 3 of the Community Lands, located on the east side of Miller Road. It will be a modern facility of sufficient size to meet current and future needs, yet modest and affordable at the same time.
The location and funding were approved in 2017, but delays came about when the project received unfavourable bids that were significantly higher than the available budget.
After a review of the project design, the project team refined aspects of the building to bring it closer to the available budget with a reasonable increase. The resulting design is as modest as possible without compromising the minimum operations of the department to address the community need.
“We are certainly looking forward to moving in.” said Aaron Hanen, Fire Chief, “We’re hosting this summer’s Annual Open House at the new facility, and we look forward to the opportunity to host many more community events.”
Staff have applied for grant funding from BC Hydro’s Community ReGreening Program for landscaping the property with native and drought tolerant plant species.
As promised, the large Douglas fir that had to be removed from the site before construction will be put to good purpose – it will be milled into lumber as a high school shop project and used to build a structure that will house the 1969 International Pumper Truck, the first truck purchased by the department and stored for heritage preservation and display.
March 22, 2021 – Breaking Ground
Members of Council and the Fire Hall Facilities Steering Committee break ground at 1045 Miller Road as construction begins on the new Fire Hall and Emergency Operations Centre. Pictured here (L-R) are Michael Kaile, Maureen Nicholson, David Hocking, Jackson the St. Berdoodle, Bill Hayes, Alison Morse, Hope Dallas, Aaron Hanen, Gary Ander, Ian Thompson, Cro Lucas and Brian Biddlecombe.
March 15, 2021 – Building drawings now available
The Fire Hall and EOC building drawings are now available for viewing.
February 10, 2021 – Site preparation to begin on Fire Hall site
Contractors will begin mobilizing on the site of the new Fire Hall and Emergency Operations Centre at 1045 Miller Road the week of February 16-19. Two large trees need to be removed from the site before construction can begin. Work will take place during the hours of 8:00 am and 5:00 pm, and will involve some noise from chainsaws and grinders. Work should not affect traffic on Miller Road but there will be periodic turning of trucks into the Fire Hall site as well as the Health Centre property next door which is undergoing clearing works at the same time.
While the two trees were kept on the Fire Hall site when it was cleared in 2019, it has been determined through site planning that they need to be removed, as once built, they will be too close to the Fire Hall building. Damage from falling branches could eventually be a hazard to the building and personnel working on the property. In addition, FireSmart principles such as removing vegetation within 10 metres of structures are considered best practice when planning for a building that will serve as a hub of emergency response.
Logs from the trees will be stored on site until a good local use for the wood is determined.
Questions? Please contact Aaron Hanen, Fire Chief at 604-947-9324
Project update: January 13, 2021
Bowen Island Municipality has hired Liberty Contract Management (LCM) for design-build services for the new Fire Hall and Emergency Operations Centre, slated to be built on Lot 3 of the Community Lands, off Miller Road.
Negotiation of a fixed-price contract with LCM comes after BIM issued a Notice of Intent to Direct Award, a process by which a local government informs contractors that it intends to negotiate a contract directly with a specified contractor (direct award), and without a competitive process. No objections were received from prospective proponents.
This process was chosen because the competitive tendering process in September 2019 returned unfavourable responses that were significantly higher than the available project budget. In the months since, the project design and scope was reviewed to bring it closer in line with the available budget. LCM demonstrated that they could meet the project scope with a reasonable increase to the budget and within Bowen Island Municipality’s timeline.
A referendum in 2017 approved borrowing of up to $3,000,000 for the construction of the new main Fire Hall and Emergency Operations Centre on Lot 3 of the Community Lands – a cost estimated to increase taxes to the average property by $73 a year.
The revised total project cost for the Fire Hall and Emergency Operations Centre building is anticipated to be $3,725,000. The additional funding required to complete the project will be funded from two municipal reserve funds – the Fire Building Replacement Reserve Fund and the General Capital Renewal and Replacement Reserve Fund. Since the additional funds are coming from reserve funds, the increase will not increase property taxes from the average $73 a year.
Next steps in the project are to secure a building permit, which staff will prioritize, and to break ground on construction. The anticipated occupancy of the new Fire Hall is late 2021.
Project update: October 15, 2020
In 2017, Bowen Island electors voted 82% in favour of borrowing $3,000,000 for the construction of a new main Fire Hall and Emergency Operations Centre on Lot 3 of the Community Lands.
In September 2019, the tendering process returned unfavourable responses that were significantly higher than the available project budget.
A prospective contractor is able to meet the project scope with a reasonable increase to the budget and within Bowen Island Municipality’s timeline.
The revised total project cost for the Fire Hall and Emergency Operations Centre building is anticipated to be $3,725,000. The additional funding required to complete the project will be funded from two municipal reserve funds, as described below.
|Approved borrowing by referendum||$3,000,000|
|Fire Building Replacement Reserve||$289,772|
|Capital Renewal and Replacement Reserve||$435,288|
|TOTAL FUNDING REQUIRED||$3,725,000|
BIM has issued a Notice of Intent (NOI) to sole source a contractor to build the new Fire Hall & EOC building. A NOI is a method by which a local government informs contractors that it intends to negotiate a contract over $50,000* directly with a specified contractor (direct award), and without a competitive process.*NOI’s may be posted for lesser amounts. The NOI can be viewed below or on BC Bid.
Following the NOI process, BIM will engage Liberty Contract Management, execute a construction contract and proceed with the building permit process. The anticipated occupancy of the building is Fall 2021.
Notice of Intent to Direct Award: Fire Hall and Emergency Operations Centre
Notice is given by Bowen Island Municipality of its intent to direct award a fixed price contract for the Fire Hall and Emergency Operations Centre building to Liberty Contract Management Ltd.
An invitation to bid on the construction of the Bowen Island Fire Hall and Emergency Operations Centre was posted. The closing date and time was 3:00 pm on Thursday, September 12, 2019.
Calling local trades: are you interested in working on the Fire Hall project?
Bowen Island Municipality will be issuing tender documents for the construction of the new Fire Hall and Emergency Operations Centre this July. If you are a sub-trade operating on Bowen Island, and are interested in working on the Fire Hall project, you can submit your information to be included in a list of local sub-trades in the tender documents.
Please note, submitting your information for this list does not guarantee that you will be contracted to work on the project. The general contractor who is successful in the tendering bid will have full discretion over the hiring of sub-trades.
Please provide the following by Wednesday, June 26th at 4:30 pm:
- Specialty (e.g. mechanical, electrical, millwork, etc.)
- Company name
- Contact person
- Phone number
- E-mail address
You can submit your information:
- By e-mail to Hope Dallas-Kerr, Corporate Officer at email@example.com
- By fax to 604-947-0193 (Attn: Corporate Officer)
May 13, 2019
Council received a staff report from the Corporate Officer providing an update on the Fire Hall project.
February 19, 2019
Council received a staff report from the Corporate Officer regarding an overview of the Fire Hall project direction and required next steps for advancing the project to the construction design phase. By resolution, Council authorized Johnston Davidson Architecture to proceed with working drawings and construction estimates as outlined in the report. Council also established a staff working group to oversee the project and to provide regular updates to the Fire Hall Facilities Steering Committee and to Council.
December 10, 2018
At a Committee of the Whole meeting on December 10, 2018, the Fire Hall Facilities Steering Committee (FHFSC) presented a project briefing and PowerPoint Presentation regarding the history of the Fire Hall and work of the FHFSC to-date. Kim Johnston and John Botelho, Johnston Davidson Architecture and Planning Inc. presented a PowerPoint Presentation providing an overview of the Fire Hall and Emergency Operations Centre site plan, building plan, and planned building uses.
Preparation of the Fire Hall site on Miller Road began in January 2018 with the removal of trees and brush, and levelling the ground to get the site ready to build the new Fire Hall and Emergency Operations Centre. Starting this work in early January ensures it doesn’t interfere with the beginning of heron and other birds’ nesting season. Because a portion of the Maple Trail crosses the site, it was closed. Metro Vancouver will be considering options for relocating that portion onto Crippen Park lands.
A referendum was held on August 19, 2017. We would like to thank the members of the community who came out and voted. Thank you, Bowen Island, for investing in safety with your vote.
Official results of the referendum
Bowen Island Municipality’s Deputy Chief Election Officer declared the results of the referendum, with 81% of ballot votes cast in favour of Bowen Island Municipal Council adopting Loan Authorization Bylaw No. 441, 2017.
Adoption of the bylaw will authorize Council to borrow up to 3 million dollars, repayable over a period of 30 years, for the development and construction of a new Fire Hall and Emergency Operations Centre on a portion of the Community Lands on Miller Road.
- A total of 965 ballots were cast. 81% voted “Yes” and 19% voted “No”.
- 68 ballots were cast by mail.
- 143 ballots were cast in the advanced poll.
- 754 ballots were cast on general voting day.
- The voter turnout was 32% of 3001 registered voters, which included resident and non-resident property electors.
Public Open Houses were held on March 25 and April 27, 2017 and June 10, 2017.