A design submitted by OT Timber Frames of 150 Mile House has been selected for a new entrance at the Williams Lake Airport. File submitted

Williams Lake Airport terminal getting new timber frame entrance

Of four submitted proposals, city council selected one from OT Timber Frames Ltd.

OT Timber Frames of 150 Mile House has been selected to construct a new entrance-way for the Williams Lake Airport terminal building.

During the May 14 regular meeting, after a lengthy debate city council selected the OT Timber proposal from designs submitted by four local companies.

The vote came down to four in favour, three opposed.

Two of the designs that were submitted included an overhead awning that stretches across the road from the entrance.

Council determined in a vote of five to two it preferred that extended awning feature across the road to the start of the parking lot.

That narrowed the competition between OT Timber Frames and Pioneer Log Homes of British Columbia.

The other two submissions were from Durfeld Log and Timber and Smith Timber Work Ltd.

Lesley Allgrove, project manager with OT Timber, told the Tribune Thursday the company was very excited to learn Wednesday morning its proposal was chosen.

“It is fabulous,”she said. “It very much a team effort.”

She said they wanted to do something that was creative for the community.

“Especially because we have other very capable companies in the region and we knew we had stiff competition.”

During the city council meeting, Gary Muraca, director of municipal services, said the companies were told to be creative and all of them submitted proposals within that maximum amount.

Staff did not make any recommendations on which company to select, but left the choice up to council.

After a healthy debate OT emerged as the preferred proposal.

Mayor Walt Cobb, along with councillors Sheila Boehm, Ivan Bonnell and Jason Ryll voted in favour of OT Timber.

“I like the fact OT’s design goes down the whole building,” Cobb said of why he was voting for the proposal.

OT Timber Frames was founded by Oliver Tritten in 2009.

According to the company’s website, Tritten began his career in Switzerland as a timber framer and carpenter and moved to Canada in 2003 where he studied the art of handcrafted log building with a leading B.C. log building company and went on to head their timber framing operations.

Allgrove said there are currently 15 people working for the company and while they have done smaller projects in Williams Lake, such as signage at the west end of Oliver Street, and exterior awnings for businesses such as Lo’s Florist, this will be their first major project for the City.

She said they get the timbers they use for building mostly from the Likely and Horsefly areas, and sometimes Prince George.

“We like to get the logs that are 30 to 40 feet long, which are harder to find, so we go wherever we can to get those,” she added.

To pay for the new entrance, the City will be using money from a grant it received from the Northern Development Initiative Trust in 2018 for improvements to the airport.

The amount was $115,000 with a City contribution of $50,000.

Planned improvements include paving, curb work, new stairs and railings, entrance door and facade improvements.

Work has been underway up at the airport already to make some of those improvements.

At one point during the city council meeting, Coun. Jason Ryll raised concerns about expending funds on a new entrance way when the long-term goal is to get a new airport terminal building.

However, Muraca told him, that the new entrance way would be totally moveable, if and when a new terminal is constructed.

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