One of Kitimat’s first buildings on Enterprise Avenue didn’t put up much of a fight last week when it was torn down to make way for a new building for All West Glass.
A few gentle nudges from earth moving equipment was mostly all that was needed to bring the walls tumbling down, accompanied by plumes of dust that were quickly doused with a fire hose by the demolition crew from Daudet Creek Contracting, who were responsible for bringing down the building.
Long-time employees Doug Paterson and Carol Dale took to the shop front windows with a sledgehammer to kick off the demolition, which lasted three days from demolition to clearing rubble from the site.
Carol, who joined the firm in October 1992 as a customer service representative, believes the building was a laundromat before All West moved in.
“It’s sad to see the old building going. On the other hand, it needed to go – it did the day I started,” said Carol, who still works at the branch part-time.
When Carol joined, Terry Dickerson was still manager – he moved on to Terrace in 1993 which is when Doug took over as manager.
Doug first joined the company as an apprentice in 1978, managing the branch until his ‘retirement’ in 1996.
“The building looked as bad then as it does now,” said Doug, watching as the grader moved in to start the demolition.
All West Glass president Laura Stanton, based at the company’s head office in Smithers, said the new building will be a dramatic improvement on the old one.
Stanton, who took over from her father as president of the family-owned business, said the company had been considering a new building for Kitimat as far back as 10 years ago.
“With the industrial activity taking place in Kitimat it is a good time to put up a new building,” said Stanton.
She said the new building is very similar in design to the last two buildings the company built in Chetwynd and Dawson.
Current Kitimat branch manager Colin McCormick said the new building will have taller doors which will allow taller vehicles like buses and bigger equipment to drive into the workshop.
At the old buidling, working on the taller vehicles involved working under tarpaulins in the winter and choosing nice days in summer to park vehicles outside and work on them.
“This will be a little more comfortable,” joked McCormick.
He said construction of the new building will be done by Viking Construction and is expected to be completed by Christmas.