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New JdF building built for the future

The formal cutting of the ribbon with Mike Hicks holding the scissors. From left to right, June Klassen, Bob Lapham, Mike Hicks, Alistair Bryson, Chief Gordon Planes and Robert Guiterruz. - Britt Santowski
The formal cutting of the ribbon with Mike Hicks holding the scissors. From left to right, June Klassen, Bob Lapham, Mike Hicks, Alistair Bryson, Chief Gordon Planes and Robert Guiterruz.
— image credit: Britt Santowski

The new Juan de Fuca local area services building is an energy efficient facility which will stand for decades to come and serve future generations, JDF Regional Director Mike Hicks said at its official opening.

“Our community should be rightfully proud of this great new facility,” Hicks said. “This building will be a great legacy for the community. In addition, the public has an 80-seat meeting room for their own use.”

Hicks noted that the building started with a sketch on a napkin. “We started out to build our own office and ended building so much more,” he said.

The new 4,500 sq. foot building was officially opened at a community event March 1. The building, at 7450 Butler Road in the Sooke Business Park, also contains 2,500 square feet of offices for services including building inspection, planning, parks, Emergency Services, Search and Rescue and the Regional Director.

Capital Regional District Board Chair Alistair Bryson, who attended the launch event, said the building is an economic treasure for the community, and a long-term investment benefiting the environment, with innovative green and grand technologies.

“This project concretely illustrates what can be done with great vision and strong community leadership and support,” Bryson said.

Hicks also thanked T’Sou-ke First Nation Chief Gordon Planes and T’Sou-ke spiritual advisor Shirley Alphonse for their blessings at the event. “Their participation in this grand opening adds to the celebration of the friendship between the communities of Juan de Fuca and the T’Sou-ke Nation, while very importantly respecting their custom of acknowledging traditional territory.”

The building is constructed to be self-sufficient during a prolonged emergency such as after an earthquake or other disaster. Rain water is collected from the roof, 40 solar panels supplement B.C. Hydro, an auxiliary generator system is on stand-by and a separate radio room operated by Emergency Services has been built.

“Everything from the polished concrete floors, hardy plank siding, and metal roof have been designed and constructed to last well into the years to come,” Hicks said. “And that next generation will be enjoying the benefits in their own building with no payments.”

The cost of the project was $1.75 million, with $1.5 million borrowed from the CRD at favourable interest rates. The remainder of the funding comes from JDF’s portion of the Gas Tax Community Works Fund. The project cost included $400,000 for the land (¾ acre or .30 hectares) and $200,000 for legal/buildings plans and other miscellaneous costs. About $100,000 will be spent on furnishings, fixtures and other anticipated future enhancements.

Payments on the new building will be less than the rent at the previous site, which was $117,000 per year plus utilities.

Construction on the building began in the spring of 2013, by Verity Construction of Langford. Juan de Fuca staff moved into the completed building in December 2013.

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