Construction has begun on a new BC Hydro office in Campbell River.
The building will replace the current building located on Evergreen Road.
The $23 million project will create and sustain about 60 jobs during the 16-month construction period.
“For a number of years we have looked at options for the 40-year old Evergreen Road building and eventually arrived at the best long-term solution by moving to the new location,” says BC Hydro spokesperson, Stephen Watson. “The Quinsam Crossing site is ideal for our office and light industrial land use activities, is clean from an environmental perspective, and it provides easy access to the highway for crews needing to respond to outages and emergencies.”
Omicron, a Vancouver-based construction company, was awarded the contract for the construction of the building along with a few other BC Hydro buildings around the province. Omicron is in the process of awarding subcontractor work, with some already in place, with further work to be awarded in the near future. Waycor Holdings has started the earthworks to prepare the site.
Omicron and BC Hydro recently met with the Campbell River Chamber of Commerce. The project is featured on the Chamber’s major projects web portal site.
The new 28,000 square foot building will feature sustainable building design that reduces energy and water use, improves the indoor environment and reduces operating costs over the long-term.
The exterior of the building will be a combination of steel and wood.
“We have been in discussions with BC Hydro on this project for a long, long time,” said Chief Ralph Dick, of the We Wai Kai Nation. “We are very pleased to see the work that’s started on the 7.8-acre lot. It’s the beginning of a long-term business relationship with BC Hydro.
“It’s also the first time in the province that a BC Hydro building has been located onto Indian Reserve lands. This is precedence setting and we’re proud to be part of it.”
BC Hydro employees focused on the power-line side of the business will move into the building in early 2015.
“These are our employees responsible for building and maintaining the lines that get power to your homes and businesses,” says Watson.
“Depending on the final site configuration chosen for the John Hart Generating Station Replacement Project, to be known this summer, employees from power generation could also move to the new building,” adds Watson. “We will be starting upgrade work at the Campbell River Commons around mid-July so that staff at the John Hart office can temporarily move off-site this fall during the John Hart project construction period. We’ll know this summer if they’ll end up going back to the same office at John Hart, or move to the new office at the Quinsam Crossing.”
BC Hydro says they must relocate from the office on Evergreen Road for a number of reasons, such as the building not being seismically sound because of soil liquefaction, there is no fire suppression system, the air quality in the vehicle bays is not sufficient and the building is too small.
“People have heard about our major rebuilds for our aging transmission and hydroelectric generation assets, such as John Hart, that were built decades ago,” says Watson. “What is not as well-known is some of our field office buildings like Evergreen are in that same category.”