Tantalus Fire Hall replacement to begin this fall

Work to install a temporary fire hall at Tantalus Road and Newport Ridge Drive gets underway

The District of Squamish is moving forward with construction of a new Tantalus Fire Hall (Fire Hall No. 2). The new Fire Hall will be built at its existing site following the completion of the Valleycliffe Fire Hall (Fire Hall No. 1), which is anticipated to be completed in July. While construction is underway, a temporary fire hall will be installed to allow for continued fire protection within the vicinity during construction of the new building.

“Council set an ambitious goal in 2018 of progressing to shovel-ready or beyond on three District facilities by 2022 to address end-of-life facilities that deliver critical operational and life safety services, and we are very pleased to see this project moving forward,” says District of Squamish Mayor Karen Elliott. “There have been many firefighting advancements in the past 40 years and this new fire hall will allow us to meet functional requirements for things like decontamination, accessibility and equitable, gender-neutral facilities to create an environment for our firefighters to better serve our community for decades to come.”

Why a new Fire Hall?

An architectural and engineering review in 2018 identified that, even with renovations, the Tantalus Fire Hall was no longer able to meet the needs of the District. The review recommended the construction of a larger and more efficiently designed facility, which has now been constructed in Valleycliffe above the floodplain and closer to the more densified Downtown Squamish.

Built in 1978, the Tantalus Fire Hall lacks seismic, environmental and general structural integrity.

Once built, the new Tantalus Fire Hall will serve as the secondary of the two fire halls with three apparatus bays and quarters for one full suppression crew. The new Valleycliffe Fire Hall will become the Squamish Fire Rescue headquarters, housing the fire department administration (currently housed at the Tantalus Hall) and the Emergency Operations Centre (currently housed at the RCMP building).

The Tantalus Fire Hall is designed for the future and can accommodate up to 46 firefighters with the future potential to accommodate an additional four storeys above it.

Temporary Fire Hall

A Temporary Fire Hall will be installed on the corner of Tantalus Road and Newport Ridge Drive while construction of the new Fire Hall is underway. Efforts to mitigate impacts to neighbours have been considered including facing the driveway onto Tantalus Road and delaying sirens until clear of the immediate residences.  

Project Cost

The project cost of the new Fire Hall is $15.8 million. Currently, a grant application is underway for funding under the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Green Municipal Fund (GMF) project loan and grant initiative that funds capital projects targeting net zero energy performance in a new municipal facility.

Sustainable Design

The design objective of the Tantalus Fire Hall is to achieve Net Zero energy consumption while achieving specific energy targets set by the District of Squamish that ensures all new buildings are energy efficient. This is to be achieved while ensuring a functional and financially feasible facility that will grow with the community for decades to come.

Real Estate and Facilities Planning

The District has commenced an unprecedented period of facility analysis, design and construction since 2018. The 2018 Real Estate Facilities Strategy identified that the District's facilities had reached a critical state: 75% of the District’s facilities are 25 years or older and in need of replacement or upgrade. A preliminary review of the capacity, function and condition of the District’s existing facilities identified that at least seven of the District’s 13 operational facilities are candidates for replacement and three additional facilities are exceeding capacity. The 2019 Real Estate and Facilities Master Plan (REFMP) identified the 'what, when and how' the District would implement the Strategy.

The REFMP prioritizes three immediate (0-3 years) critical facilities to be replaced: the two fire halls and the Public Works Yard. All three are underway (construction or design). The REFMP prioritizes the next projects as Municipal offices, Transit Maintenance Facility, Brennan Park Recreation Centre (Phase 1) and Brennan Park Recreation Centre (future phases). The District is actively seeking external funding to move Brennan Park Recreation Centre upgrades forward.

For more information visit squamish.ca/facilities/.

June 17, 2022

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