Northern Ontario Construction News
A $2 million expansion at North Bay’s Jack Garland Airport and $6 million project to develop an adjacent industrial business park are improving services and creating potential for businesses to locate in the gateway city.
Industrial Park development
The municipality owns more than 1,000 acres at the North Bay Jack Garland Airport. To date two phases have been fully serviced with water, sewer, hydro, gas and telecommunications and are being marketed under the YYB North Bay banner. Construction is already completed or under way on a number of projects and both airside and groundside parcels are being occupied by new or expanding operations.
Don Seguin Contacting is building 21,200 sq. ft. hangar for what will be the industrial park’s fourth tenant. It is the first new hangar on the airside portion of the Airport Industrial Business Park (AIBP).
Seguin says the cold winter forced the project to shut down in November after a mid-September start and work has recently recommenced. “The early excavation work had to dig down 9 ft. to remove the organics so we didn’t get as far ahead as we had hoped before winter,” he said.
Mechanical and electrical costs have proven to be challenging. Previously, these services represented about 20 per cent of a project’s budget, but now they are closer to 30 per cent, and are driving project costs up, he said.
On the positive side, careful planning and attention to detail during the construction of the AIBP has resulted I cost savings for current and future tenants. Seguin says the airport has been great to work with and he credits the city for forethought in designing the industrial business park. “The city installed stormwater management systems for all of the lots when they designed the park. That is a huge cost and time savings for people considering developing here. Cudos go to the city for including this as part of the planning.”
Seguin Contracting also has constructed an 8,000 sq. ft. facility with 4,000 sq. ft. of storage in the industrial park for another tenant and a 26,000 sq. ft. facility for a new business start-up.
The airport expansion includes 213 sq. m. of new construction for the holding room and offices, and 225 sq. m. of renovations, including the check-in, conveyors, screening and office space.
The expansion will increase the capacity of the passenger holding area to accommodate as many as 154 people.
Airport manager Jack Santerre says HVAC, electrical and plumbing systems are also being upgraded.
The work, which began at the end of April and is expected to be completed by the end of October, must be conducted with airport security in mind. “Maintaining operations while construction is going on is a challenge,” Santerre said. “Work has to be adjusted to it is taking place in secure areas outside of flight times.”
He says that means construction staff must either stop work and move out during flight times, or must schedule around, working evenings or weekends.
The expansion has been designed to blend with the rest of the building which had been constructed in 2002.
An earlier phase of the overall upgrade had expanded the existing secure holding areas. Future work, not yet scheduled, will add a second security line and realign the baggage screening facility.
North Bay mayor Al McDonald says the city is proud of its airport and industrial park. “We were running out of land but had all of this space around the runways. We are now one of the few cities in the country who offer airside land for sale or lease on a 10,000 ft. runway.”
He says the industrial business park, which has been supported in equal parts by the city, provincial and federal governments, has been developed to make the land as turn-key as possible. The ACIP (Airport Community Improvement Plan) also provides a rebate of development costs over three years.
“We hope to motivate new companies to move here and also provide an opportunity for existing companies to expand,” he said.
The industrial park has another 417 acres that can be developed through future phases.
McDonald says the city hopes the airport expansion will attract another major carrier.