George Street lot proposed new location for Station 1 fire department
The Cape Breton Regional Municipality has identified a new home for its downtown Sydney fire station.
The uprooting of the fire department follows the provincial government’s decision to relocate Nova Scotia Community College, Marconi campus, from Reserve Mines to the Sydney waterfront.
CBRM council has selected a municipally-owned lot on the corner of George and Pitt streets as the site of a new construction.
“We’re just working with the province now to conclude the valuation of Station 1 and what the replacement cost would be, so we can fully and properly fund a new station that will have a long-term presence in the community,” Clarke said.
“We have to accept the offer from the province, we’ll have to look at what the final design elements are and the amount of investment we’re prepared to make.”
The property is currently being administered as paid parking by the Sydney Downtown Development Association, which has been made aware of the situation, said Clarke.
He said discussions are ongoing with firefighters, municipality staff and managers in terms of design requirements, access points and overall budget costs.
“The fire service will remain an existing Station 1 on the waterfront, Esplanade location, until a new facility is built so they’re won’t be any displacement of the building,” Clarke said.
Jody Wrathall, president of the International Association of Firefighters Local 2779 in Sydney, confirmed that the unionized group helped in identifying the new space.
“The IAFF was involved with the selection process,” he said. “The IAFF head office prepared a fire station location study that we provided to the CBRM.”
In other news of the relocation, the NSCC announced the successful bidders for the initial phases of development last week.
The contracts for architectural design and engineering were awarded to Barrie & Langille Architects Ltd. and Moriyama & Teshima Architects, along with Fathom Studio (formerly Ekistics Planning & Design) and other sub consultants.
The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal was asked Friday about the number of land acquisitions and agreements that had taken place.
“We continue to work with property owners and lawyers to finalize documentation,” said TIR spokesperson Marla MacInnis.
“While work remains ongoing it is premature to provide these details.”
In November 2017, the province committed to relocating the 230,000 square-foot Marconi Campus from its current location, adjacent to Cape Breton University, to the downtown Sydney.
The training institute is currently home to an enrollment of roughly 1,200 students.
Around that same time, the Stephen McNeil Liberal government issued a tender seeking a consultant to study the move with a $144,586 contract later awarded to Ekistics.
Back in August, the province unveiled the proposed location for the new Marconi campus will encompass the waterside of the Esplanade in Sydney, from Falmouth to Crescent streets.
According to the province, in cases where landowners do not reach an agreement on land sale the expropriation process will be used with compensation to be decided by a third party.
Early figures released by the province estimate the cost for the detailed design and development of the new campus, including its site preparation and land acquisition, to be roughly $18-million.
-With files from David Jala