Context: Fort St. John is the largest city in northeast BC and is located along the world’s famous Alaska Highway. With anticipated increases in resource development activity the City foresees continued growth and increased demand for services. With space to accommodate City services becoming increasingly limited and a new organizational structure, the City initiated a review of workspace requirements for the future. The City’s Strategic Plan identifies one of the citizens’ top priorities as managing growth with forward-thinking planning. Therefore, before looking at options for new facilities or structures, or costly refurbishments of existing facilities that may not meet future needs, the City decided to retain consultants to assist in conducting a business and workspace facilities review and to prepare a long-term facilities master plan. Cornerstone was awarded the contract to carry out the work.
Approach: The current facilities accommodate a variety of uses including City Hall administration, RCMP Detachment, Protective Services functions, Fire Hall, and several recreation venues such as arenas and pools. Public works operations and the Water Treatment plant were also included in the analysis. All facilities were examined to determine building condition and current occupancies were identified. Future requirements were based on planning assumptions derived from a series of user group interviews. Several Accommodation Strategy Options were explored and evaluated relative to costs and functionality.
Results: The Final Report included a Phased Action Plan for recommended projects. The Plan was approved as contributing to Council’s vision of a planned and sustainable community where community infrastructure is well-maintained to meet the needs of both current and future generations and where municipal spending and tax policies are affordable and sustainable over time.