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Burke Mountain Firehall


Blog by Rod & Rhea Hayes | January 19th, 2012


Finally Coquitlam will have a permenant Firehall for that part of the city. The 17,000-square foot Burke Mountain station will include an additional 1,000-sq. ft. room to be used by the community and for firefighter training purposes.

0116BurkeMountainfirehall.jpg

By
Janis Warren - The Tri-City New
Published: January 17, 2012 11:00 AM
Updated: January 17, 2012 11:59 AM

Long-awaited plans for Coquitlam's fourth fire hall were unveiled this week, showing a new Burke Mountain station across the street from where it was previously to be built.

Fire Chief Tony Delmonico said the city property at the northeast corner of David and Princeton avenues didn't meet the department's needs as it backed onto a creek and didn't have good sight lines but city land at the northwest corner was a perfect fit

 
"As we worked along with the architect over the past couple of years, it just seemed like the other site was the obvious choice for us," Delmonico said. "It's been a win-win."

The conceptual designs, which were made public at Monday's council-in-committee meeting, show a two-storey red brick station facing David Avenue that would be built to post-disaster standards; i.e., it would be able to withstand a 7.2-magnitude earthquake.

The layout is similar to the Mariner Way fire hall and the design will be used as a template for future stations, said Maurice Gravelle, the city's general manager of strategic initiatives.

But unlike Coquitlam's other fire halls, the 17,000-square foot Burke Mountain station will include an additional 1,000-sq. ft. room to be used by the community and for firefighter training purposes. Last year, the fire department logged more than 37,000 training hours.


Coun. Craig Hodge said Burke residents, like himself, have been waiting a long time for a permanent fire hall as, in the past, the remote area — accessible only through Port Coquitlam until a few years ago — was served by volunteer firefighters. He also said he likes meeting space concept.

The building cost is set at $9.6 million, which will be part of this year's budget and borrowed from the Municipal Finance Authority on a short-term basis. If the project is approved by city council in March, a public tender will be issued this spring, with construction due to start next year.

"The fact that we are able to bring a significant project like this online with a minimum of angst in terms of the financial situation says a lot about how our community is pooling together to give us the really important projects that we absolutely need in this expanding city," city manager Peter Steblin told the council-in-committee on Monday. "Not all communities are able to do that. Coquitlam should be proud of the fact that we can be able to do that."

 
Gravelle told council the 2.2-acre site requires significant excavation and the price could come in under budget should the ground be geotechnically easier to build on.

 
Delmonico also said he wants to order a new 4x4 fire truck — similar to the one used by Whistler crews — that could handle Burke's steep and environmentally sensitive terrain.

jwarren@tricitynews.com