FortisBC is in the midst of a major facility upgrade in the Kootenays as its $23-million operations centre nears completion in Castlegar. The 10 acres of land houses two buildings: a 23,000-square-foot office space, and a 7,000-square-foot warehouse. The new facility will replace the aging infrastructure of those buildings, centralize operations, and provide long-term, cost effective benefits to the company and its customers.
Community and employee suggestions were considered throughout the design phase. “We had the opportunity to consult our teams and design the space so it best meets their needs,” said Dennis Swanson, vice-president, energy supply and resource development. Notable features in the new facility include material storage, increased staging and crew space, and an emergency operations center.
Moving from an old building, the staff wanted to preserve the history of their previous workspace. “Even though it’s older, it was still charming,” said Nicole Bogdanovic, corporate communications advisor at FortisBC. “They wanted a history wall, so we are incorporating that in the new building.” Another staff-centric feature is a “living wall” of greenery. Inspired by the centre’s location in the Kootenays, the living wall is meant to improve air quality and employee wellness. FortisBC has been a part of the Kootenay community for over 100 years. The community’s support of the new facility was important to the company.
The community of Castlegar is especially pleased with the new Columbia Road public pathway. “One of the concerns was safe access for residents from a subdivision to public transit,” said Bogdanovic. Residents of the nearby community must pass the Kootenay Centre to reach public transit. The solution FortisBC provided is a landscaped public pathway along the centre’s fence line. The walking pat enhances the neighbourhood while providing safe access to transit on Ootischenia Road.
“We are also contributing to a new school bus stop,” Bogdanovic said. In addition, the emergency operations centre will allow FortisBC to respond quickly and efficiently to any service disruptions. FortisBC thanks the City of Castlegar for its support, as well as Vic Van Isle Construction for its work to complete the facilities according to schedule.
As originally published in Kootenaybiz.com