Wells Gray Search and Rescue’s present building is located next to Clearwater Trout Hatchery. It is too small for current and future needs and should be replaced, the team says.Photo by Keith McNeill

Wells Gray Search and Rescue plans for a new headquarters

In recent times the team has struggled with inadequate space for training, equipment storage, etc.

Submitted by WGSAR executive

After 15 years in our current building, Wells Gray Search and Rescue volunteers are working hard to acquire a new headquarters facility.

WGSAR headquarters consists of an older model double wide mobile that previously was the offices of BC Hydro. It was moved to its current location on the Freshwater Fisheries property on Old North Thompson Highway East some years ago.

READ MORE: New home for Wells Gray Search and Rescue (Oct. 27, 2017)

READ MORE: Wells Gray SAR hosts rope rescue course (May 13, 2015)

This central location has worked well to serve WGSAR business, but in recent times the team has struggled with inadequate space for training, equipment storage, radio communications, workshop room and meeting area. SAR vehicles and trailers are currently parked in a secure covered area off site.

Having outgrown the space available, planning for an upgrade started last spring.

As WGSAR does not own land, the plan is to replace our current building with a newer, larger structure that has the future option of being moved to another, permanent SAR Headquarters location. We plan to replace the double wide with a pre-manufactured, modular 36 ft x 60 ft structure. The new building will include office space, secure storage, a small workshop, a radio communications centre, and space for classes, meetings, and training sessions.

Regular funding sources do not ordinarily provide for the purchase of capital assets such as the headquarters building. Recent funding initiatives from the province will allow for this investment, allowing WGSAR to obtain $104,000 towards this endeavor. The team considers this a rare opportunity and so is eager to pursue building plans.

The cost is estimated at $175,000 for the delivered building. Additional costs of up to $20,000 are anticipated for site preparation, surveys, permits, plumbing, electrical work, installation and improvements to the septic system. As work proceeds, further site costs may become evident.

WGSAR is seeking out other funding sources to make up the $91,000 difference. If the funds do not become available through alternate funding sources, the team is investigating the option of borrowing funds. As all members are volunteers, borrowing funds brings additional challenges to the planning process. WGSAR appreciates all support that can be given in regard to funding, applications and requests.

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