The Town of Salisbury is working on the construction of a new Salisbury Fire Rescue Facility, intended to adequately serve the needs of the Town’s volunteer fire department and ensure they have adequate space and resources to continue providing an exceptional level of service for residents.
This webpage will continue to be updated as the project progresses.
Project Update (November 3, 2023):
- Current Status: The Town’s contractors are analyzing land survey data and continue to work on construction documents, as well as a tender package, in anticipation of tendering the project in the Spring of 2024.
- The site has been cleared and conceptual design and schematic design have been completed.
3105 Main St., Salisbury
Why does the Town need a new Fire Hall?
In the 2023-2026 Town of Salisbury Strategic Plan, Town Council committed to moving forward on a new Fire Hall for the Salisbury Fire Rescue Department.
There are a number of reasons the Town decided to pursue a new station, which include:
- A lack of space in the current fire hall, including inadequate space for members to dress/undress, remove or load equipment into the fire apparatus, a limited number of members due to space constraints, a limit of 12 parking spaces adjacent to the Station, etc.;
- The current Fire Hall is immediately across from Salisbury Regional School, presenting significant issues related to parked vehicles that interfere with fire trucks leaving/entering the station;
- Limited space for apparatus parking, meaning trucks are “double stacked”, preventing the second vehicle from leaving in the event of a malfunction with the front vehicle;
- Limited dedicated space for the Department for call debriefs, training, and meetings;
- Until recently, there was no on-site washing or drying facilities for turnout gear. While a temporary solution has been included in the current station, this removed shower facilities from the building.
Where is the current Fire Hall?
The current fire station is part of the municipal building on Douglas Street in Salisbury. The original fire station was constructed in 1975 as a standalone structure (48 years ago), with the subsequent addition, including municipal offices, in later years.
How busy is the Salisbury Fire Rescue Department?
Salisbury’s Fire Department is composed of dedicated volunteers. In 2022, the Department responded to 202 calls. While the Department responds to traditional fire calls (structure fires, vehicle fires, grass/brush fires, etc.), in 2022, this only represented 19% of their calls. The Department also responds to medical calls (13% of calls in 2022), motor vehicle accidents (MVAs) (41%), alarm calls, requests to assist other fire departments, and more.
As of mid-September, 2023, the Department has responded to 128 calls. It is projected to be nearly 170 by year-end.
In addition to calls, the Department trains every Monday night to ensure that they can be prepared to answer the call(s) of Salisbury residents.
How big is the new building?
The total building footprint is approximately 12,460 square feet. This includes the apparatus bay, station area, and the mezzanine (which is 2,900 square feet).
When is it expected to be completed?
The Town is nearing completion of the schematic design phase of this project and will enter into the construction document phase. It is expected that the tender for construction will be issued in the Spring of 2024 and the ground-breaking will occur shortly thereafter. The building is expected to be occupied as of 2025.
What will the new Station look like?
The Town is currently anticipating that the building will have a brick exterior. The latest conceptual renderings can be seen here:
What is in the new building?
The following is an overview of the building features:
- Double-entrance double apparatus bay;
- Multi-purpose room, accessible to the Public;
- Gym, available to Department members and municipal staff;
- Lounge area;
- Male and female washrooms, specific to the Department (separate from space accessible to the public);
- A breathing apparatus room;
- Mechanical/compressor room;
- A workroom;
- A radio room;
- One office (Fire Chief);
- A flex office, accessible to Department members who may choose to work remotely from the station and increase availability of members during the day-time hours;
- A gear-cleaning room;
- Storage/mezzanine, with option for future use, on a second floor.
The following presents an overview of the final floor plan:
Who designed this building?
In early 2023, the Town issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for professional services for the design of the Salisbury Fire Rescue Facility and received six (6) proposals. The Town retained Jost+ Architects for this work, and has been working with them since the award for the building design. While Jost+ Architects is the primary consultant, they have sub-contracted engineering work to Fundy Engineering (mechanical, electrical, civil) and Giffin Engineering (structural).
As part of the design work, the Town struck two primary working groups:
- A Fire Department Working Group, consisting of the Chief, the Deputy Chief, three Department members, and the Town’s Chief Administrative Officer (CAO);
- An internal working group consisting of the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), the Manager of Infrastructure & Public Works, the Clerk/Treasurer, and the Lead Architect.
How will this building be paid for?
This project will be financed with a debenture (loan) through annual installments through the Town’s Operating Budget.
The Town will be pursuing funding through the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM)’s Green Municipal Building Fund. This fund aims to assist municipalities with financing energy-efficient buildings through a 15% grant and a subsequent low-interest loan. Throughout the project, the Town has compared costing options between traditional borrowing means available to Municipalities and through FCM’s funding program, and has determined that pursuing the FCM option, even if certain environmentally-proactive measures increase construction costs, is the most feasible option for the Town.
If successful through this program, the Town will take a 30-year loan through FCM with the remainder being covered through the Municipal Capital Borrowing Board (MCBB) for a 20-year term.
The design costs have been paid for with the Town’s 2023 Operating Budget and with a contribution through the Canada Community Building Fund (CCBF). As well, the Town has applied to FCM’s Feasibility Study stream to fund a portion of the design costs.
During the Special Council Meeting of November 2, 2023, Salisbury Town Council authorized an application to the Municipal Capital Borrowing Board (MCBB) for a total of $7,500,000. Given the project has not yet been tendered, pre-tender estimates are not being released at this time. However, the MCBB authorization is a borrowing ceiling, and is not necessarily intended to be the exact cost of the building alone. This borrowing authority is required before the Municipality can pursue the proposed funding through the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.
What will happen with the existing Fire Hall?
The Town has, in recent years, completed a spatial analysis for municipal buildings. In 2023, it completed an architectural assessment of the building space to ensure that the municipal building at 56 Douglas Street could sustain the growth of the Town in light of Local Governance Reform. This work confirmed that the municipal building will fit the needs of the Town for the foreseeable future. The current Fire Department bays will become the area for the Town’s Department of Infrastructure and Public Works. This will optimize the space, better protect Town assets from vandalism and theft, reduce off-site storage costs, and provide much-needed space for maintenance, repairs, and general workspace.
What has the Town done so far for the new Fire Hall?
The following presents an overview of the work undertaken for the new Facility since 2019:
- In 2019, a Needs Assessment was completed for a new Fire Hall.
- In 2022, the land transaction for the building location was completed for the land on Main Street.
- In 2023, the Town retained the Architect firm to design the Facility and have the 2019 Needs Assessment updated, create the Room Data Sheets (specific requirements for each element of the Facility), and design the building;
- The Town worked with the Engineering sub-contractors to undertake an Energy Model Report to optimize energy performance;
- In the Fall, an external cost consultant will complete work to determine potential cost savings and provide a pre-tender cost estimate for the facility;
- The lot has been cleared for construction, and the Town has undertaken topographical surveys as well as geo-technical surveys to finalize the building location and soil quality prior to preparing a tender package.
How has the Town considered environmentally-friendly design elements with this building?
Sustainability and environmental performance has been a top priority for the Town in constructing this Facility, recognizing that it is intended to serve the needs of the Town into the future. In fact, the Town designed the building with the intent to make it net-zero ready.
The Town worked with the Design Team and their sub-contractors to complete an energy model and energy simulations, identifying the most efficient energy options, primarily related to the heating system within the building.
The results of this report are why the Town is intending to construct an ICF building with a geo-thermal heating system. The energy model report identified these, amongst other environmental savings, as being 58% better in terms of energy performance compared to standard construction. This alone means an anticipated annual savings of $30,000 in operational costs.
Will this building meet the needs of the Department into the future?
The Station has been designed to serve the needs of the Town well into the future. The apparatus bay consists of drive-through double bays. This will more than double the current apparatus bay space available. In addition to this, the Town has provided significant storage and future-use space in a second-floor mezzanine of the Facility. On the land itself, the Town is reserving ample space for future amenities such as detached storage, etc. that may be required into the future.