SFU Burnaby campus will get its own fire station

Dec 3 2021, 4:12 am

Sometime during the middle of this decade, Simon Fraser University’s (SFU) campus atop Burnaby Mountain will be served by its very own fire station.

The university and the City of Burnaby have reached an agreement on identifying a preferred location for the facility — an undeveloped, treed parcel at the southwest corner of the intersection of University Drive East and Tower Road, situated on the east side of the mountain and just south of the UniverCity neighbourhood.

SFU is providing the required land at no cost, while the municipal government is leading the project’s design and implementation.

With the selection of a site, planning work can now get underway on detailed design. In October 2021, Burnaby City Council approved the use of $1 million from the Community Benefit Bonus Reserve — collected from private developers for their projects across the city — to fund a feasibility study and design work.

The federal government is providing $30 million in funding towards the construction cost of the project.

sfu burnaby mountain fire hall 8

Location of the future City of Burnaby fire station No. 8 at the northeast corner of the intersection of University Drive and Tower Road, serving SFU and Burnaby Mountain. (City of Burnaby)

sfu burnaby mountain fire hall 8

Location of the future City of Burnaby fire station No. 8 at the northeast corner of the intersection of University Drive and Tower Road, serving SFU and Burnaby Mountain. (City of Burnaby)

A fire hall atop Burnaby Mountain is necessary to serve SFU Burnaby’s growth, which is expected to reach 19,400 students and 9,300 employees by 2035. As well, the UniverCity residential population is slated to increase from 6,000 to 9,500 upon the full buildout of the neighbourhood — and this does not include SFU’s plans to build more on-campus student housing.

ā€œThe community on Burnaby Mountain has been rapidly growing and weā€™re enhancing our emergency capacity to respond to that growth,ā€ said Mayor Mike Hurley in a statement. ā€œPeople live, work, study and play on Burnaby Mountain, and it is essential that we have the capacity and infrastructure to keep up with the changing emergency management needs of the community.ā€

Joy Johnson, SFU president and vice-chancellor, added: “Weā€™re very pleased to see this project moving forward and are confident that, once completed, the new station will help keep the SFU and Burnaby communities well protected for years to come.”

Currently, the two nearest fire stations to the campus are located off-mountain, with station No. 6 located south of SkyTrain Production Way-University Station, and station No. 4 southwest of Burnaby Mountain Golf Course. The response times from both existing stations could be impacted by both vehicle traffic and inclement weather, especially during snowfall events, which renders the roads up the mountain unusable.

“Over the years, as the community of SFU continues to grow, the lack of a fire hall on Burnaby Mountain presents some challenges for the fire department to meet response times in compliance with industry standards,” reads a city staff report.

“The study identified that response coverage to Burnaby Mountain is inadequate and poses a risk for the community on Burnaby Mountain. Additionally, the widely varied land uses on the mountain, which includes institutional, industrial, multi-family residential, and wildland interface present a varied and ever-changing risk.”

The municipal government is aiming to have the feasibility study and conceptual design of the fire station completed by early 2022, and the conceptual design, SFU-related approvals, and a rezoning application finished by the end of 2022.

Construction is anticipated to begin no later than early 2024. Upon opening, the facility, named station No. 8, will be operated by the city with 20 firefighters.

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

+ News
+ Development
+ Urbanized
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT