A housing location for workers on the new Mills Memorial Hospital construction project has been approved by city council. (File photo)

Camp spot proposed for hospital construction workers

As many as 350 outside workers may be needed

As many as 350 outside workers will be needed to build the new Mills Memorial Hospital, indicate City of Terrace documents relating to a site on which a camp to house them could be built.

The location is on the corner of Hwy37 South and Jack Talstra Way at the entrance to the Skeena Industrial Development Park just south of the Northwest Regional Airport.

City council was asked to give its approval by granting a three-year temporary use permit for the camp to house workers employed by multi-national PCL Construction, the preferred contractor to build a new hospital and accompanying mental health facility in a combined project worth $447.5 million.

But council at its Feb. 23 meeting decided to defer the request for now upon the advice of senior staffers.

The land is owned by Global Dewatering Ltd., a company which specializes in dredging and groundwork operations. It bought the property in 2013 just as the first wave of speculation tied to potential developments in liquefied natural gas swept through the region.

The industrial park is “considered an appropriate location for such facilities because of the location near the airport and distance from residential and commercial developed areas in the city,” noted city development services director David Block in a memo to council of the needed work camp.

A work camp at the Global Dewatering site would require a well to be drilled and an on-site septic system. One alternative to the latter would be hauling waste out, something that would require a permit from the Northern Health Authority.

At an anticipated size of 350 beds, the city could not charge a fee per bed. A bylaw permitting that only comes into play if a work camp contains more than 1,000 beds.

Those city documents also indicate PCL is entertaining proposals to provide the work camp facilities for as many as 350 people.

One of those proposals could come from the Kitselas First Nations’s Kitselas Development Corporation, which owns the property directly across the road from Global Dewatering.

The development corporation supports the temporary use permit and “may submit a proposal to establish this workforce housing on their property,” Block said, relating a conversation with a director of the development corporation.

This would not be the first time the Kitselas Development Corporation has entertained the prospect of a work camp at its property in the development park.

During intensive planning for a second major liquefied natural gas project in the last decade at Kitimat called Kitimat LNG, the location was favoured to be a work camp for workers on that project.

As PCL searches for a work camp location, it is also working on what is expected to be a final design to be submitted to the provincial government leading to a construction contract. The province has already committed to construction and a final contract could result in work starting this spring.

The company was the only one to indicate an interest in building a new Mills on the site of the current one and while not yet being officially acknowledged as the preferred contractor by the Northern Health Authority, it has signed a contract to cover preliminary expenses.

PCL’s contemplated building footprint appeared before council Feb. 22 as it needed permission to build a taller structure than allowed at the location.

The current Mills will be demolished as will the current Seven Sisters mental health accommodation facility and the Sleeping Beauty office building to make room for the new Mills which will go up on the north end of the property close to the Sande Overpass. A new Seven Sisters will be built and the old Mills site will become a parking lot.

Council approved the new height for what will be the tallest of a three-level step configuration in the architectural design.

“The request for additional height is accompanied with architectural and design features which helps to reduce the mass and and scale of the building,” Block stated in a memo to council.

Placing the new Mills on the north end of the property near the Sande Overpass will “minimize the impacts on the adjacent residential uses to the east and west,” Block added.

(An earlier version of this story had council agreeing to the temporary use permit. That was incorrect. Minutes of the Feb. 23 meeting indicate councillors agreed to defer “due to the receipt of advice that is subject to solicitor-client privilege …”)

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Terrace Community Fund was able to set up the Dare to Dream Fund with a significant donation from Trumpeter Donnie Clark. (File photo)
Dare to Dream Fund set up after a large donation from musician Donnie Clark

The fund will provide financial support for the Dare to Dream music program in Terrace and Thornhill

The average selling price of a single-family home in Terrace has climbed 26 per cent in the last year. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press)
House prices soar in Terrace

Average prices increased by 26 per cent

Nurse Vicki Niemi administers a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to Joyce, 88, on Mar. 23, 2020 at the Terrace Sportsplex. All adults in Terrace are now eligible to register for a COVID-19 vaccination. (Ben Bogstie/Terrace Standard)
All adults in Terrace can now register for a COVID-19 vaccine appointment

Community members can register by calling 833-838-2323 or visiting getvaccinated.gov.bc.ca

April 2020 to March 2021 was the second wettest year on record since at least 1969, according to Environment Canada. (Ben Bogstie/Terrace Standard)
VIDEO: Terrace records wettest spell in over a half-century

Terrace saw close to 1,500 millimetres of precipitation between April 2020 and March 2021

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

A lady wears a sticker given out after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count slows after last week’s peak

3,219 new cases since Friday, 18 additional deaths

North Cowichan councillor Tek Manhas did not violate the municipality’s code of conduct by posting a sexist meme on Facebook, council concludes. (File photo)
B.C. municipality to take no action against councillor who posted sexist meme

Tek Manhas’s meme doesn’t violate North Cowichan council’s code of conduct, municipality concludes

—Image: contributed
Indoor wine tastings still allowed in B.C., not considered a ‘social gathering’

“Tasting is really just part of the retail experience. The analogy I use is you wouldn’t buy a pair of pants without trying them on.”

A sign on a shop window indicates the store is closed in Ottawa, Monday March 23, 2020. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is raising its estimate for the number of businesses that are considering the possibility of closing permanently. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Small business struggling amid COVID-19 pandemic looks for aid in Liberals’ budget

President Dan Kelly said it is crucial to maintain programs to help businesses to the other side of the pandemic

The National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians says that includes attempts to steal Canadian research on COVID-19 and vaccines, and sow misinformation. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
Intelligence committee warns China, Russia targeting Canadian COVID-19 research

Committee also found that the terrorist threat to Canada has shifted since its last such assessment

Part of the massive mess left behind in a Spallumcheen rental home owned by Wes Burden, whose tenants bolted from the property in the middle of the night. Burden is now facing a hefty cleaning and repair bill as a result. (Photo submitted)
Tenants disappear in the night leaving Okanagan home trashed with junk, feces

Spallumcheen rental rooms filled with junk, human and animal feces; landlord scared to rent again

Parliament Hill is viewed below a Canada flag in Gatineau, Quebec, Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. A new poll suggests most Canadians are feeling more grateful for what they have in 2020 as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions increased slightly in 2019: report

2019 report shows Canada emitted about one million tonnes more of these gases than the previous year

Dr. E. Kwok administers a COVID-19 vaccine to a recipient at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to register people ages 40+ for COVID-19 vaccines in April

Appointments are currently being booked for people ages 66 and up

Most Read