UXBRIDGE: After several years of planning, construction of the new fire hall is tentatively slated to begin next month.
“Hopefully, we’ll be able to get started in late-July or early August,” project manager Peter Paton told The Standard, adding that the new fire hall should take a year to be built at its new location on Brock St. West, between Quaker Village Dr. and Conc. 6.
Among the first things to be built at the site will be a berm around the perimeter of the building, which Mr. Paton said should help to reduce noise and vision from nearby homes.
Mr. Paton added that the materials used to build the berm will be taken from the area where the fire hall is planned to be built.
“All of that earth is currently there and will have to be moved for the building. But, it won’t have to be trucked off-site, since we’ll be using it for the berms.”
Ward 2 Councillor Pat Molloy noted that the municipality has worked hard on the planning process over the past five years to deliver the best hall available for the $3.8 million budget.
“It’s been a long time through the planning process, but I think that we’ve done everything right and it might even come in under budget,” commented Councillor Molloy.
As well, Ward 5 Councillor Gord Highet was pleased that residents in the area were taken into consideration through every step of the lengthy planning process.
“When we started, there were some major concerns from residents in the area, but we’ve listened and walked them through it over the years,” Councillor Highet told The Standard. “We all want this hall to be as unobtrusive as possible.”
For Uxbridge Fire Chief Scott Richardson, there are several benefits to moving to the new fire hall from the current location on Bascom St., which has served the department since the 1950s.
“It’ll have lots of space, that’s the biggest benefit. We’re going from 3,000 square feet per floor to 16,000 square feet. We’ll have the room to be able to bring in new trucks, which we don’t have at the current hall, unless they are custom-made,” Chief Richardson said, noting that safety has become a concern at the current fire hall.
“The safety of staff will also be improved. Currently, we have guys getting into their gear beside trucks rolling out, and the new hall will have a dedicated bunker room where guys can get changed.”
Chief Richardson also explained that the new hall will have a dedicated training room, a heated floor in the truck bay to prevent water from freezing during the winter and eliminating a potential safety hazard, as well as a new operations centre for the department and adequate parking.
“Parking is a major issue, and we are very lucky to have such accommodating neighbours at the current hall,” added Chief Richardson.
Overall, the Chief is confident that the new hall will be able to provide the department with a suitable home well into the future, and will be able to adapt to any potential growth that may come to Uxbridge, which has hindered the current hall with its location on Bascom St.
“Hopefully this new hall will also be able to serve the township for more than 50 years. If needed, there would be opportunities for us to expand the hall if that ever became necessary.”