The Cariboo Fire Centre at the Williams Lake Airport was the winner of a Northern B.C. Commercial Building Award, taking home the Judges’ Choice Best Best Overall Entry. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo

Cariboo Fire Centre wins building award

During the Northern B.C. Commercial Building Awards, the Cariboo Fire Centre emerged as the winner of Judges’ Choice Award of Excellence.

Aesthetically pleasing, complimenting to the surrounding area and unique architectural features are reasons the Cariboo Fire Centre took home the Judges’ Choice Award of Excellence for the Institutional Category at the Northern Commercial Building Awards held March 8 in Prince George.

“The finish of the building was very sharp, and it is a very important building for the community — especially with the fires that ravaged the area last summer,” said Mark MacDonald, president of Business Examiner, one of the award’s category sponsors.”It is definitely a building that is critically important for the community.”

MacDonald, however, noted it was a”razor-thin” margin of victory for the Judges’ Choice Award.

Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb attended the award ceremony held in Prince George and said the building met several environmental standards.

“They said it was aesthetically pleasing and the design tied in with the neighbourhood,” Cobb said.

A total of 25 buildings from across northern B.C. completed between Jan. 1, 2016 and Dec. 31, 2017 were finalists for the awards, including the University of Northern British Columbia Residences which garnered the Industrial Renovation award.

The Cariboo Fire Centre is located next to the Williams Lake Airport and is owned by the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources.

It was designed by Stantec Architecture Ltd. and built by general contractor Lauren Brothers Construction Ltd. of Williams Lake.

Officially opened on March 23, 2017, the $7.1 million facility replaced 11 separate structures and trailers, some of which were there for 40 years.

Read More: New fire centre open for the season at the Williams Lake Airport

During the summer of 2017’s unprecedented wildfire season, the CFC had to be evacuated on the afternoon of Friday, July 7 because a lightning-caused fire that was in close proximity.

Some staff were able to return to the fire centre later that evening and within days hundreds of firefighters, incident command team members, and firefighting air craft had arrived and would remain there until well into the fall.

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