The next 12 or more months look set to be busy ones for the local construction industry.
In a City Council News column released Dec. 12, Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson outlined local projects lined up for 2019, as well as projects the City and Cariboo Regional District are hoping to get off the ground next year.
A new building with 27 units will be erected on Front Street by Dakelh and Quesnel Community Housing Society, using funding from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing. These units are being built specifically for Indigenous people in the community.
And the Ministry also provided funding for 10 homes on Lhtako Dené’s reserve in the Red Bluff area. Band administrator Garry Yablonski told the Observer construction would be likely to begin on these units in spring 2019.
As well, Mayor Simpson indicated in his column that construction is slated to begin in 2019 on the Elliott Street Supportive Housing Project. The facility, which will be run by the Quesnel Shelter and Support Society, is a BC Housing initiative. City Council adopted a bylaw to authorize the Elliott Street Supportive Housing Agreement in October this year, and is now awaiting the submission of a development permit from Quesnel Shelter and Support Society.
In addition to publicly funded housing, Simpson said City Council is creating a strategic plan for housing, that includes everything from shelter to high-end market housing.
“We know we have a significant housing issue and that it is not limited to social or affordable/accessible housing needs but also encompasses the need to have more modern, high end single family residential housing and multi-unit housing options,” wrote Simpson.
Quesnel residents supported the City of Quesnel in obtaining an $8.5 million loan to replace the city’s Public Works facility. A new building is planned for a site on Sword Avenue, and construction will begin next year.
And the city has high hopes that Quesnel will receive funding for a new junior school as well as a new intensive care and emergency room facility at G.R. Baker Memorial Hospital.
At a school board meeting in November, the School District indicated plans for a renovated or new facility were continuing despite a slow process. The Ministry of Education must still decide whether it will fund a brand-new school, a renovation of the North Quesnel school or a renovation and addition to the current Maple Drive facility.
Plans for an addition to Quesnel’s hospital are also still subject to approval.
Finally, the Cariboo Regional District is submitting an application for a large grant to fund a renovation of the Quesnel & District Arts and Recreation Centre, and the City is hoping to receive funding for a new Indigenous Cultural Centre, to be built at Ceal Tingley Park.
Both projects are in planning stages, with funding not yet secured.