FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The City of Fort St. John is now mulling options to replace the aging Fort St. John RCMP detachment after a recommendation that a new building be built.
City Council were given a presentation on Tuesday that was prepared by City staff as well as KMBR, Architects Planners Inc. to provide options Fort St. John has when it comes to the current Fort St. John RCMP detachment building.
The City had issued a Request For Proposal which closed on August 5, 2016 and was warded to the architect firm.
KMBR says that the reason for the study of feasibility was done for the following reasons:
- The detachment is 35-years-old and ending the end of service life
- Cannot accommodate future growth
- There are many building code deficiencies including fire protection sprinklers, seismic and snow load design
There were three stages that the company used to do the study.
- Stage 1 – Functional Programming and Building Condition Assessment
- Stage 2 – Conceptual Planning Options
- Stage 3 – Evaluation, Analysis and Final Report
One of the first issues addressed was the fact that they have a windowless basement that holds workspaces as well as overcrowding.
Then came the detailed concerns in the areas of structural, mechanical, electrical and functional concerns.
- Roof structure does not meet current Building Codes for snow loads
- Structure not designed for second floor addition (if a second floor was to be added, it would be extremely costly).
- Does not meet post-disaster design requirements
- Water, sanitary and drainage systems are original and declining from age
- Sanitary and storm sump pumps are over 20-years-old and need replacing
- Plumbing fixtures are original to the building
- Storm water system drains to grade and does not meet current Plumbing Code
- No fire protection sprinklers (they are required by Code for this type of building)
- Electrical systems are currently over 30-years-old and are at the end of their operating life
- Some cases do not meet current Code requirements
- Emergency generator needs replacing
- Fire alarm system should be replaced with an addressable system
- Fire alarm remote monitoring equipment currently does not meet required Code
- Insufficient telephone capacity
- Electrical service and distribution panel have sufficient capacity
- Building is currently undersized by 36%
- Windowless basement offices are not a suitable working environment
- Crowded conditions are compromising operational efficiency as well as safety
- Poor working conditions affect staff morale
There are two development options that could be considered for the City. They are:
- Current Full Post Detachment Model (municipal and provincial/federal)
- Municipal only Detachment
They could either renovate and expand the current building or replace it with a brand new facility.
KMBR is recommending that a new building be built as a renovation/expansion option would be more costly compared to just building a new building. They also stated that the new build options would allow a more efficient and functional building layout at a lower project cost.
Fort St. John Mayor Lori Ackerman believes that the City needs to look at the Post Detachment compared to just a Municipal Detachment.
“I do think we need to look at the 20-year Post Detachment.”
Ackerman went on to explain that Council would be leaning towards Council directing staff to pursue option 2(1)B – Full Post Detachment for 20 year growth at a cost of $43 million.
While details are still being decided and this is just the first step in a long process, Ackerman has also asked staff to look into federal and provincial funding that may be available to support such a major project.