Bottom line key to hotel

The reasons for wood being chosen to frame a new hotel development in Terrace called into question by local carpenter.

Dear Sir:

As a long-time resident in a forestry community, even though this is mostly history, thanks to the provincial government, I am pleased that a new hotel will be built from wood products.

As far as fire safety is concerned if the fire chief is OK with the design so am I.

It is worth noting that a number of major wood structures  have been destroyed  by fire during construction and special care needs to take place during construction.

Being a past president of the Northwest District Council of Carpenters I do take umbrage with the developer, Mr. Kim Tran’s statement that “We don’t have the tradesmen  that can build non-combustible building here in Terrace. I would have to bring someone from Vancouver.”

For the record, over my 50 years in Terrace, the building trades people here have built existing hotels, Alcan, Eurocan, Methenex and commercial buildings, including small jobs such as the Happy Gang Centre.

Mr. Tran also states that he is reluctant to bring trades people here from Vancouver and goes on to state that all his employees are familiar with working with wood. The obvious question is where are these people coming from?

If Mr. Tran wants to build with wood I wish him all the best.

My concern is his justifying his action by diminishing the capability of a group of trades-people that I proudly call my brothers and sisters.

The carpenters’ northwest locals have made architects and engineers look good since 1905, to quote Yukon Smith.

The fact is that for stick framing a building like this, repetition of each room being precisely as the next can be done by unskilled or semiskilled workers capable of pulling the trigger of a nail gun.

It needs only one or two people able to read and execute a blueprint.

Needless to say that someone who spent four years to achieve an interprovincial journeyperson’s ticket can demand a better wage, than someone who has not.

So let’s be honest, the decision to build with wood, is about the bottom line, nothing else.

John Jensen, Terrace, B.C.