Construction of new Queen Charlotte fire hall reaches ‘key milestone’

Queen Charlotte fire chief Larry Duke is pictured outside the completed steel exterior of the new fire hall on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, with construction continuing behind him in the interior of the building. The red spout to the right of Duke is part of a rainwater catchment system that when complete, will reduce their demand on the village drinking water system. (Karissa Gall/Haida Gwaii Observer)
An aerial view of the steel exterior of the new Queen Charlotte fire hall, which has been completed by Western Canadian Steel. (Western Canadian Steel/Submitted photo)
Matt McGlashan of Haida Gwaii Builders is making progress on the interior framing of the new Queen Charlotte fire hall. One of his workers, Daniel Morgan, is pictured on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020. (Karissa Gall/Haida Gwaii Observer)

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.

ALSO READ: Cost to build Queen Charlotte fire hall jumps almost $150,000

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.

ALSO READ: Village of Queen Charlotte moves forward with construction of new fire hall

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