Town breaks ground on new fire hall 0
Mayor Sandra Cooper, fire chief Trent Elyea, and council members break ground on construction of the new fire hall at Third and Ontario.
COLLINGWOOD — The town has broken ground on a new fire hall.
Fortunately, they won't have to dig deep.
On Thursday, Mayor Sandra Cooper, several council members and fire chief Trent Elyea dug into the sandy soil of Heritage Park at the corner of Third and High to ceremonially begin construction of a new $5-million, 20,000-square-foot fire hall. The hall, which should be complete by next summer, will replace the department's current home at the corner of Minnesota and Ontario, where the firefighters are moving to make way for the Ontario Provincial Police.
The building has been a shared police/fire complex since its construction in the early 1980s, but an increase in the number of officers, as well as a need to meet the needs of male and female officers, along with new cells to accommodate youth offenders, has necessitated the move of the fire hall.
When it opens next year, not only will the new fire hall be energy efficient and more central to respond to calls in the community, it will also act as the town's centre for emergency operations.
"The new fire hall reaffirms our commitment to the safety of our residents as we invest in our town's infrastructure," said Cooper.
Not only is Heritage Park central, it's also a prime building spot; there's only about 18 inches of topsoil sitting on bedrock, so construction firm Cambria Design won't have far to go to set the footings for the building.
The remainder of the park will be redesigned for recreational uses.
"After extensive planning, we are pleased to see the start of construction," said Elyea. "The new fire hall will ensure continued efficient responses to emergencies in our growing community while meeting the needs of the future."
Architect Michael McNight said his firm, McNight Charron Laurin Architects of Barrie, was excited about landing the job.
"It's been a real pleasure working with the town," he said. "(The municipality) knew what it wanted, and how to do it... this is a state-of-the-art project."