Terrace Search and Rescue (SAR) president Dwayne Sheppard arrives back on shore from a water-rescue scenario in which an injured worker was stranded on the far side of the Kalum River. The exercise on June 6 wrapped up a three-day rescue certification course taught by Terrace SAR to BC Parks personnel from all over the region, including Dease Lake, Kitimat and Hazelton. “The program provides familiarity for the park rangers in and around the river to be able to, if they have to, execute a rescue on their own, but hopefully help the Terrace SAR team if anything should happen,” said David Brown, planning section head for BC Parks in Terrace. (Brittany Gervais photo)

Terrace SAR commit to new headquarters design

Fundraising kicks into high gear as construction slated for Oct. 1 start

There’s no turning back now. Terrace Search and Rescue have dropped a 25 per cent deposit on the building for their new headquarters on Clinton and Greig.

“It’s going forward with our architect, we’ve met with the city for a development permit and he’s [City Planner Dave Loch SP] happy with it,” said Terrace SAR vice-president Dave Jephson.

Terrrace SAR put forth a development permit at the Aug. 13 regular council meeting.

READ MORE: Terrace SAR aims high for new headquarters

Earlier this month SAR guaranteed a partnership with Permasteel Construction with a $132,000 deposit on the $495,000 structure. Jephson expects a foundation to be laid by Oct. 1, at which time Permasteel is now scheduled to arrive and erect the pre-engineered building within 30 days.

“We struggled a bit to find someone who could work with us on this plan,” Jephson said. “We sent bids out to five or six companies. Some said no right off the bat. Others said they didn’t want to work with a format that requires people to donate or help…but these guys said ‘we’re with you 100 per cent—we’d like to work with you guys. What can we do?’ They realize what we’re trying to do and they want to be part of that.”

SAR executive gave its approval of the partnership earlier this month.

Jephson said Permasteel is committed to contributing items and services to the build that helped keep the final cost down.

He now hopes to break ground during Riverboat Days with a completion date during same event next year.

“We’re excited,” he said. “Now we just have to find the money,” he said with a laugh.

SAR purchased an undeveloped 13,000-square foot lot on the corner of Greig and Clinton last December.

The financing of the project is fiercely community driven. Monetary donations from community members, organizations and businesses have added to donations of labour, resources and time from suppliers and contractors.

Costs escalated an additional $100,000 overnight due to recent trade war with the US over steel and aluminum tariffs. Costs went up another $75,000 on the decision to build a post-disaster building. But once the structure is erect, SAR is allowing one year for electrical, plumbing, interior modifications and finishes to be completed, the scheduling of which will depend on donations to cover the remainder of the estimated $900-000 in costs.

Without community support on this scale Jephson said the building would soar to the $1.5-million range. He’s confident the handshake deals and promises will come through, but his mission now is to now secure donations from the major projects in the area whose workers would benefit from a highly-effective SAR program in the region.

Even without the headquarters, Terrace SAR is a revered outfit, regularly serving in search and rescue operations throughout the north due to its capabilities afforded by its large member base, breadth of training opportunities and equipment inventory.

READ MORE: Search and rescue approved to deploy trained helicopter response teams

The new two-storey headquarters will be include four vehicle bays, an office, drying room, tool room, radio room, showers, a kitchen and specialized training facilities, such as an exercise room and climbing infrastructure. All of the gear, trucks, watercraft, trailers, ROV and other items currently stored in various locations around town will all fit behind the new walls.

As a disaster-proof building SAR is hoping to work with the city to designate the facility as a secondary emergency coordination centre.

Financial donations can be given through the City of Terrace for a tax-deductible receipt.


 


quinn@terracestandard.com

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