New Emergency Services Building (Fire Hall/Ambulance) for Creston
With the approval of the 2018 Protective Services Loan Authorization Bylaw, the Town is now proceeding with the design tendering and construction process for building a new Emergency Services Building which will be home to Creston Fire Rescue and BC Emergency Health Services, that will ensure the safety of our firefighters and residents now, and for years to come.
To assist with the process, the Town has set up the Technical Building Advisory Committee (TBAC), a group of dedicated community volunteers to provide:
- Input and oversight on the design development, tendering and construction of a new facility that will meet current and future needs.
- Help keep our community informed and engaged about key decisions and milestones throughout the project.
In addition to establishing the TBAC Town Council formally adopted the principles and recommendations of the previous Community Fire Hall Advisory Select Committee (ASC) that will guide the direction of the work of the committee. Specifically, that the new facility would be located at the preferred Cook Street site and the Fire Hall portion would be approximately 14,000 square feet based upon the committee’s spatial review.
The Town extends it appreciation to the members of the 2018 Fire Hall Community Advisory Select Committee (ASC) for their thoughtful consideration of the reports and presentations that formed the basis of their recommendations to Council.
Creston Emergency Services Building - Project Information
September 27, 2021 - Media Release
Federal Government Funding To Relieve Construction Budget Pressure for Creston Emergency Services Building
Creston, B.C., September 27, 2021: All municipalities in Canada are in receipt of additional transfer payments from the Federal government through the Canada Community-Building Fund (formerly known as the Gas Tax Fund). This is the second year that the federal government has doubled this transfer to municipalities for one year (the first was in 2019), but for the first time, the Union of BC Municipalities who oversees the management of the Canada Community-Building Fund has announced that fire halls and fire stations have been added as an investment category for the program.
“While we knew we were in receipt of the former Gas Tax Funds prior to the UBCM announcement this year, we previously had not been able to allocate any of this funding towards the CESB project,” said Mayor Ron Toyota. “To have received this confirmation now that we can allocate a portion of this funding towards the CESB project, ensures that Council can manage the projected construction budget increases without increasing taxation or utilizing reserve funds that may have been allocated for another capital project. Local governments in Canada are responsible for 60% of Canada’s infrastructure, and we are so pleased that we will be able to utilize a portion of the funding for this essential infrastructure in our community.”
During their Committee of the Whole meeting held on September 21, 2021, Town Council made the recommendation to refer decisions regarding the construction budget of the Creston Emergency Services Building and options for the existing Fire Hall to the Town of Creston’s upcoming 2022 budget process. The Creston Emergency Services Building project has come under construction budget pressure created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This provides clarity to how these funds can be used. This is the first known time that the Federal government has provided a grant program that can be used directly for the construction of community infrastructure such as a fire hall. Prior to this, all grant programs for infrastructure replacement or construction clearly excluded fire hall replacement projects”, said Michael Moore, Chief Administrative Officer. “While the current projection is that the construction budget for the CESB could be over by as much as 13%, there is still much value engineering and contract negotiation to be done that can ultimately reduce these projected increases”, he added.
Any decisions regarding the options available for Council to fund any projected cost increases for the CESB will be done during the Town’s 2022 budget discussions which will begin in November this year, including what portion of the $560,932 received from the Canada Community-Building Fund will be used towards the CESB project. Additionally, increases to the construction budget also include funding contributions from the Regional District of Central Kootenay (29% of project cost) and BC Ambulance (15% of construction cost). There is also potential revenue from the sale of the existing Fire Hall and Ambulance Station that Council has not yet decided upon. Council has directed Town staff to issue a Request for Proposal to determine if there is an alternate community use for these buildings prior to selling.
The Creston Emergency Services Building still remains scheduled for completion in spring 2022.
September 22, 2021 - Media Release
Council Refers Decisions Regarding Creston Emergency Services Building Construction Budget To 2022 Budget Process
Creston, B.C., September 22, 2021: During their Committee of the Whole meeting held on September 21, 2021, Town Council made the recommendation to refer decisions regarding the construction budget of the Creston Emergency Services Building (CESB) and options for the existing Fire Hall to the Town of Creston’s upcoming 2022 budget process.
The recommendation comes after the staff presentation detailing cost implications now that the majority of tenders for the new building have been received. As a result of COVID sourcing and supply issues, these tenders have come in at 10-25% over anticipated, increasing the construction budget required to complete the building. Council also received information on funding options to cover the costs without any increase to taxation or changes to scheduled 2022 capital projects,
“While this is not an optimal situation, it is not completely unexpected,” said Mayor Ron Toyota. “Cost increases are being experienced in the construction industry across North America due to extremely limited product supply. There’s no way around the fact that COVID has impacted the cost and supply of all goods, and there is no data to suggest that costs and supply will improve anytime soon. We can only plan with the best information that we have right now,” he added.
Construction of the new building on Cook Street is well underway as tenders are being issued in sequence.
“We’re extremely pleased to see the building taking shape, with the foundation, walls, and roof in place,” added Mayor Toyota. “We are looking forward to the completion of this new facility that we can all be proud of.”
Chandos Construction along with Town staff and community volunteers from the Technical Building Advisory Committee continue to meet weekly to oversee construction management with an eye to reducing costs while ensuring functionality. To date, this process has reduced costs of previous tenders by approximately $500,000.
“The areas where we are seeing the greatest cost increases are mechanical (approximately $400k higher than anticipated), concrete supply (approximately $300K higher than anticipated), openings (windows, doors, etc. approximately $200K higher than anticipated) and finishes (approximately $150K higher than anticipated),” said Michael Moore, Chief Administrative Officer. “We have also made considerable modifications to reduce costs wherever possible through changing products and methodologies. Since March, we have reduced $500,000 in costs through value engineering, and we will continue this process. Now that the majority of tenders for the big-ticket items are in, we can more accurately plan for completion at the best possible price and value for our community.”
The presentation made to Council gave an overview of the options available for Council’s consideration during the Town’s 2022 budget discussions which will begin in November. The presentation summarized the current funding model including partner contributions from the Regional District of Central Kootenay (29% of project cost) and BC Ambulance (15% of construction cost), as well potential revenue from the sale of the existing Fire Hall and Ambulance Station. Council also made the recommendation to issue a Request for Proposal to determine if there is an alternate community use for these buildings prior to selling.
“We are so close to this building being finished and move-in ready. Council continues to be committed to completing this project to ensure we can meet the health and safety needs of our first responders, while minimizing financial impact to our community,” Mayor Toyota stated.
The Creston Emergency Services Building is scheduled for completion in spring 2022.
April 16, 2021 - CESB Update Mailout
February 25, 2021 - Media Release
Town Council Recommends Project Budget Increase For Creston Emergency Services Building
Following information received at their Special Closed Committee of the Whole Meeting on February 24, 2021, Council has made the recommendation to increase the project budget for the Creston Emergency Services Building to $7.0 million from the $5.4 million that is budgeted in the Town of Creston’s current Five Year Financial Plan.
The original project budget for the Creston Emergency Services Building (CESB) was established in 2016 and reconfirmed in 2018 through a Class ‘C’ estimate, comparisons with recently built fire halls in British Columbia, analyses of construction costs in BC and the Altus Construction Guide. After an unsuccessful referendum for borrowing in December 2017, the Town of Creston received voter permission in October 2018 to borrow a maximum of $4.5 million for the construction of a new fire hall. At that time, Council also committed to contributing $1.0 million from reserves towards the project. In November 2019, a Request for Information & Qualifications (RFIQ) was issued for general contractors for the project with five general contractors invited to participate in the tender process.
Subsequent to the finalization of the land purchase for the CESB in January 2020, the Town was able to proceed to the final design drawings which were expected to be issued for tender in March 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there were resulting delays in the tender process and following the receipt of only two tender bids in August 2020 which exceeded the funding available for this project, Council directed staff to cancel the tender process for the CESB and evaluate project options including the timeline and budget. After Council’s recommendation in October 2020 to issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) for construction management services, they consequently made the recommendation to engage Chandos Construction Ltd. for such.
“As with countless other building projects, the COVID-19 pandemic has seriously disrupted the work on the Creston Emergency Services Building project”, said Ernie Polsom, Firewise Consulting. “There have been major impacts on costs on all aspects of the project from building materials such as lumber and steel, mechanical systems and labour. There have also been changes to the BC Building Code with respect to energy efficiency. The availability of materials has been severely affected, and there is no indication that this will be alleviated any time soon”, he continued. “One example that Council reviewed related to the cost of lumber for the CESB. Pre-COVID, the cost of lumber for the facility was estimated at $350,000 whereas now, the cost of lumber for the building is estimated to exceed $1 million. Clearly, changing the building envelope to utilizing products other than lumber will most certainly benefit this project”, added Mr. Polsom.
“A large part of the pre-construction work that has been completed so far by both Chandos and Johnston Davidson Architecture, with support from the Town of Creston has been to evaluate all viable project options which includes everything from building materials, to redesign of certain building elements while maintaining the intended use and functionality of the facility”, said Michael Moore, Chief Administrative Officer. “After engaging in their own value engineering processes and evaluations with other construction professionals, Chandos has indicated that it is clear that there is extreme instability in today’s building market, with suppliers unable to guarantee prices for anything more than short durations. In addition to the significant impacts of COVID-19, Chandos has advised that construction costs have increased by approximately 20% since 2016. Unfortunately, this all means that the existing design for the Creston Emergency Services Building cannot be built within the 2016 approved budget of $5.4 million.”
Council’s recommendation to increase the project budget for the Creston Emergency Services Building from $5.4 million to $7.0 million was made after establishment that the project budget increase could be achieved utilizing surplus and reserve funds, with no increases to borrowing or taxation.
“When Council chose to cancel the tender process for the CESB back in August, 2020, we knew that there was uncertainty in the market conditions created by the COVID-19 pandemic, and that there would be impacts to the overall project”, said Mayor Ron Toyota. “This does not change the fact that we need to replace our fire hall. Our focus has always been, and continues to be, building a facility for our emergency responders and the community that is based upon current service levels and needs, and one that will fit with our emergency services now and into the future.”
February 2021 - Media Release
Town of Creston Engages Chandos Construction Ltd. To Provide Construction Management Services for Creston Emergency Services Building
Creston, B.C., February 12, 2021: The Town of Creston has awarded Chandos Construction Ltd. the contract to provide construction management services for the Creston Emergency Services Building (CESB).
After the tender process for the CESB was cancelled by Council in August 2020 due to submitted bid price amounts exceeding the funding available for the project, Council directed staff to review the project scope and evaluate project options. Subsequently, Council made the recommendation in October 2020 to issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) for construction management services. There were seven complete proposals received and Council made the recommendation to negotiate a contract for construction management services for the CESB to Chandos Construction Ltd.
Chandos Construction based in Kelowna, British Columbia is familiar with the Kootenay region and has completed several projects in the area. Most recently, Chandos was awarded the construction management project for the restoration of Creston’s iconic red grain elevator by Columbia Basin Trust.
“We are so excited to be a part of moving this project forward for the community and especially for Creston’s Emergency Services personnel”, said Michael Lewis, Project Manager with Chandos Construction. “We are absolutely committed to providing the Town of Creston with a facility that will meet the operational needs of Creston Fire Rescue and BC Emergency Health Services personnel, while maintaining the intended use and functionality of the facility. This will be accomplished by ensuring that all options are discussed and carefully evaluated with the project team. We have planned for weekly pre-construction meetings and envision shovels in the ground by this Spring”, he added. Chandos Construction will continue to work closely alongside the project architect, Johnston Davidson Architecture and the consulting team to identify areas and options for potential cost savings.
“Bringing Chandos aboard really provides a fresh lens to this project”, said Ross Beddoes, Director of Community Services. “Their approach has been collaborative and respectful. They know the history of the project, the approved budget, and are well positioned to provide a range of options for consideration. In addition, they have good access to trades and materials and the primary project site superintendent is a resident of the Creston Valley”.
Chandos Construction will be in attendance at the next Technical Building Advisory Committee meeting on February 25, 2021. The public will also have an opportunity to participate virtually. Currently, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all in-person formal meetings are restricted.
“Everyone on our project team is on the same page”, said Mr. Beddoes. “We are all looking forward to seeing this project take shape and as long as we continue to maintain the open and shared communication that we have established, we are confident that the Creston Emergency Services Building will be completed as intended for our Emergency First Responders and the community.”
This sign is located at 1505 Cook St., the future home of the Creston Emergency Services Building. The land purchase of this 2.14 acre parcel, immediately adjacent to Pealow's Independent, was finalized in January 2020 at a lower cost than anticipated within the project budget.
An agreement with the Province of BC allows for the inclusion of BC Emergency Health Services (BC Ambulance) into the project, with additional project costs being covered by the Province. This augments the facility to include our paramedic service without increasing costs for our taxpayers.
The TBAC continues to meet as required to provide their insights on building the best possible facility, at the best possible price, that meets the operational needs of the community now, and for the future. All TBAC meetings are open to the public, and there is a question period at the end of each meeting for anyone to be able to ask questions of the technical experts and/or Town staff in attendance. Notice of meetings will be posted on Town’s website and Facebook page.
Late 2019, the Town of Creston issued a Request for Information & Qualifications (RFIQ) to General Contractors to establish pre-qualified General Contractors eligible to bid on the CESB when the project went out to tender. The CESB is currently out for tender to five (5) pre-qualified General Contractors. The tender closing date is August 13, 2020.
Following the tender closing date, the submissions will be reviewed by representatives from Town Staff and the architect, Johnston Davidson Architecture. In conjunction with the TBAC, any post-tender discussion and recommendations will then proceed to Council for consideration.
- Jan 23, 2019 - News Release
- Jan 17, 2019 - News Release
- Jan 09, 2019 - News Release
- Nov 26, 2018 - News Release
- Feb 25, 2021 - Meeting Notes, and Presentation
- Oct 06, 2020 - Meeting Notes
- Mar 03, 2020 - Meeting Notes
- Jan 16, 2020 - Meeting Notes
- Oct 29, 2019 - Meeting Notes
- Aug 08, 2019 - Meeting Notes
- May 30, 2019 - Meeting Notes
- Jan 21, 2019 - Meeting Notes
- TBAC Terms of Reference
2018 Background Information
Please see the links below for information on the work that has been done to date on the Fire Hall Project, including: