Sackville opens new town hall, emergency services facility
- It was a historic day in Sackville last Thursday as the town opened the doors and welcomed the community into its new municipal services building for the first time ever.
The new facility - which is bringing together local firefighters, RCMP and town hall staff all under one roof - has been a project six years in the making. And so the long-awaited opening was a day of celebration for all those involved in turning the vision into a reality.
“This is a great building that has been designed and constructed for our town and provides a one-stop shop for our essential services,” said Mayor Pat Estabrooks during last week’s open house event, which drew in a crowd of more than 500.
The mayor was joined by several other dignitaries during the opening of the new $13-million facility, including Senator Carolyn Stewart Olsen, Beausejour MP Dominic Leblanc, a member of the Green Municipal Fund council and the FCM board Lloyd Hines, Minister of Public Safety Robert Trevors, lead engineering consultant Andrew Amos, RCMP Assistant Commissioner for New Brunswick Wayne Lang, and the Sackville Fire Department’s chaplain Vernon Vickruck. Also celebrating at the event were members of the past and current town council, town staff, firefighters and RCMP officers.
“We hope our community will be very proud of this facility,” said Estabrooks.
She said the new facility, which replaces the existing town hall building and three other outdated and inefficient structures, is a shining example of what can be achieved in environmental and workplace efficiency.
“It’s an inspiring high-performance workplace in an efficient and economical design.”
The building features a wide array of energyefficient technologies with an effective payback period of eight year or less. Energy saving systems include a ground source heat exchange system, heat recovery on all exhaust air units, occupancy sensors to control HVAC and lighting, daylight sensing light fixtures, outside LED fixtures, in-floor heating distribution and high-efficiency motors and starters.
The mayor said these technologies and efficiencies have resulted in the building beating the national energy code by more than 60 per cent and achieving a LEED silver certification.
And thanks to these savings, the town was able to take advantage of funding from the FCM Green Municipal Fund in the amount of $1 million.
Lloyd Hines, a warden for the municipality of the district of Guysborough and a member of the Green Municipal Fund council, said he was impressed by the efficiencies and innovation showcased in Sackville’s new building.
Hines said the $1 million grant provided to this project was the largest amount given from the Green Municipal Fund, which is a testament to the town’s commitment to environmental stewardship.
“You have much to be proud of,” he said. “You are showing other communities, large and small, what can be done.”
Local MP Dominic Leblanc wholeheartedly agreed.
“This facility is certainly the envy of Atlantic Canada in what you’ve been able to accomplish,” he said, “particularly in environmental stewardship.”
Also praised last week was the shared use of space and services within the building, which significantly reduced construction costs and will greatly reduce the ongoing operating and maintenance expenses for years to come.
Mayor Estabrooks noted that council has also entered a 25-year lease with the RCMP to house the rural detachment within the building to further reduce the impact on the taxpayers for the building’s capital and operating costs.
“So not only will our municipal RCMP be located in our emergency response services building we are pleased to welcome the rural RCMP detachment.”
Assistant Commissioner for the RCMP Wayne Lang said housing both the municipal and rural detachments within the same facility as firefighting services and municipal departments will certainly improve communications among all parties and make for better partnerships.
“This is a fabulous day for the RCMP,” he said.
Estabrooks also raved about the new town offices and council chambers on the upper level of the facility, saying the design and the use of space were “magnificent.” She said the space is well lit and accessible to the community via stairs or elevator, and provides excellent work stations and storage space for the staff.
The council chambers itself features more seating, better lighting and sound, an audio visual suite, built-in HD cameras, flat-screen monitors, and an electronic voting system.
The new fire and rescue station is also accessible, she said, and now meets industry standards and supports maximum performance by the volunteer firefighters.
And with Sackville’s renowned reputation for its cultural lifestyle, the new facility also features several prominent works of art on display in and around the building –including a 16-foot long mosaic panel depicting images of Sackville, a gigantic ‘Adirondack Fish’ painting, a suite of black and white photographs, unique blown-glass structures with scenes of Sackville, and an eight-foot tall willow figure entitled Muse on the Marsh
“Sackville is known for its arts and culture, so council wanted to ensure that this element would be front and centre in the building,” said Estabrooks.
Consultant Andrew Amos said this entire project required a “tremendous vision” to bring it from start to finish and he is pleased with the end result.
“It was a lot of work and a lot of convincing some of the naysayers . . . but council stayed true and recognized this was important,” said Amos. “This is a space that works well for today and into the future.”
For Estabrooks, the biggest reason for celebrating was simple.
“It was built on time and on budget and that in itself is a huge accomplishment,” she said.
Sackville town hall staff and local firefighters will officially move into the facility this week, while the RCMP are expected to move in sometime in April.
Above, Wayne Lang, RCMP assistant commissioner for New Brunswick, was among the many dignitaries on hand for the opening of Sackville’s new municipal building last Thursday. The event drew about 500 people who came out for the ribbon-cutting ceremony and tours of the facility. Right, Sackville town staff chat with local residents in the new town hall lobby during the open house event last Thursday afternoon where a new work of art, made of blown glass, by Sackville native Nick Chase is displayed. Tours of the facility were also available that evening. For more photos visit www.sackvilletribunepost.com. STAFF PHOTOS