City officials now say construction of the new $4 million replacement for Fire Station No. 11 in St. James is expected to begin in early March.
City administration recently approved foundation permits for the work to begin around the first week of March, according to Coun. Scott Fielding (St. James).
A city spokesperson confirmed the new start date. Construction was originally supposed to start by the end of 2011.
"Obviously we need to get rolling with it," Fielding said. "There’s no question over next number of weeks, you’re going to see a lot more activity on that site."
The new station is expected to be completed by the end of this year, Fielding said.
In July, the city approved plans to replace the current Station No. 11 on Berry Street with a new facility on a two-acre site inside the cloverleaf next to the St. James Hotel.
Construction was to begin last fall but was set back by a series of changes to the building’s site plan. The revised plan calls for the station to be moved closer to Portage Avenue so it is easier to build and will have more of a visual presence in the community.
The current Station No. 11 was built in 1912. The cost of maintaining the aging building is nearly equal to the cost of building a new facility. The current site is less than half an acre in size.
The Portage facility is one of four new fire-paramedic stations slated for St. James, Charleswood, River Heights and Sage Creek.
The four stations will cost a total of $15.2 million. Financing includes a $9.7 million low-interest loan to the city from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. The other $5.5 million is from three existing city capital budgets from 2008 to 2010.
Meanwhile, Lee Poworoznik, general manager of the neighbouring St. James Hotel, said the business has heard few details about the project from the city.
Poworoznik doesn’t believe noise will be an issue for his patrons when the station opens.
"It’s Winnipeg, I’ve managed bars right across from Station No. (4) in Osborne," he said. "It never affected business at all. I don’t think that’s a concern of ours."