Construction of the new earthquake-proof fire hall above the tsunami zone in Queen Charlotte reached a key milestone on Aug. 1, with the completion of the exterior of the building.
According to an update shared by the Village of Queen Charlotte, the three off-island workers from Western Canadian Steel stayed nearly 50 days to erect the steel walls.
“A project like this would typically be split into two shifts, but due to COVID, the crew decided to work straight through,” the update said.
The project has since shifted into the next phase with Matt McGlashan of Haida Gwaii Builders working with Les Collinson on the interior concrete work, then starting the interior framing with his crew of local employees.
Fire chief Larry Duke told the Observer the accessible 4,500-square-foot interior will consist of three fire truck bays, an apparatus room, a room for the air compressor that fills their breathing packs, a drying room, upstairs storage and a kitchen, as well as several offices and multipurpose rooms that could be used for fire hall meetings or even medical triage in the event of an emergency.
The roof has been prepared to receive solar panels in the future and a rainwater catchment system has been installed in the back, including two, 5,000-gallon tanks.
Duke said their biggest truck holds 1,400 gallons of water, so the reserve will significantly reduce their demand on the village drinking water system.
Once the interior framing is done in about one or two weeks, off-island crews will come to complete the plumbing and electrical work.
The project is still tracking toward a target completion date of Dec. 31.
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