A ground breaking ceremony today for the City of Richmond’s new Brighouse No. 1 Fire Hall marks the beginning of the end of an ambitious public safety rebuilding program. Since 2006, the City has replaced three fire halls, completed a major retrofit of a fourth hall, acquired and renovated the Richmond Community Safety Building (home of the Richmond police detachment) and is currently building two additional replacement fire halls.
“Community safety has long been one of the top priorities for Richmond City Council,” said Mayor Malcolm Brodie. “We recognized the need to modernize our buildings to 21st century standards so they could serve our growing and evolving community, no matter what challenges we face. The No. 1 Fire Hall is the last piece of this ambitious rebuilding program.”
The new Brighouse No.1 Fire Hall at Granville and Gilbert will have four truck bays. It will be approximately 25,240 square feet – an expansion from the former 17,000 square foot facility. The facility will be built to post-disaster standard meaning it will remain operable after most earthquakes. The new fire hall will also house Richmond Fire-Rescue’s administration offices and is scheduled to be completed in 2017. The project cost is $22.3 million.
The City is also currently building a new Cambie No. 3 Fire Hall due to be occupied later this year. That new building will also house a BC Ambulance station, the first time the two first responders have been co-housed in the same building in an urban BC community.
Richmond’s comprehensive public safety building program is significant for a number of reasons:
- It reinforces Council’s commitment to community safety as a top priority by completing an ambitious public safety building program in such a short period of time.
- By using reserves to fund the capital cost of these buildings, the rebuilding program was delivered without incurring additional debt and minimal impact on taxes.
- With the completion of the Cambie No. 3 and Brighouse No.1 Fire Halls all of Richmond’s public safety buildings will be post-disaster rated, meaning they will be able to withstand a major earthquake and police and fire will be able to respond as needed.
- In keeping with Richmond’s commitment to be a sustainable community, these buildings have also been built to the highest standards of sustainable building practises. The Steveston No. 2 and Hamilton No. 5 fire halls and Richmond Community Safety building are all officially certified LEED Gold standard. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, and is an internationally-recognized measurement system for assessing sustainable building practises. Gold LEED standard is also being targeted for the new Brighouse and Cambie fire halls.
Richmond’s Community Safety Building program chronology:
2006 – Construction of new Hamilton No. 5 Fire Hall was completed and occupied.
2007 – The new Sea Island No. 4 Fire Hall officially opened.
2009 – Major retrofit completed on the Shellmont No. 6 Fire Hall.
2011 – New Steveston No. 2 Fire Hall was completed in 2011.
2011 – Richmond Community Safety Building opened as the new home of the Richmond police detachment. The building had been previously used as security headquarters for the 2010 Olympic Games. The acquisition and renovation of an existing building saved taxpayers millions of dollars over the original plan to build an entirely new police building.
2016 – New Cambie No. 3 Fire Hall to be completed.
2017 – New Brighouse No. 1 Fire Hall to be completed.