Skip to content

New fire station in Midhurst takes major step forward

'We’re trying to set the township up to serve the residents out of this station for 40-plus years,' says Springwater fire chief

The wheels are officially moving on plans for Springwater Township's new fire station in Midhurst.

Council approved the preliminary design for Midhurst Fire Station No. 2 located on Snow Valley Road near the intersection of Bayfield Street, just outside the Barrie city limits  at its regular council meeting on June 15. Township staff has also been directed to begin the process of issuing a tender for construction of the 16,910-square-foot facility, which carries a $7.9-million price tag.

The design proposal includes a four-bay apparatus area, apparatus bay support and vehicle maintenance areas, administrative and training areas, as well as a common area that will include a day room/kitchen, fitness space and washrooms. 

During the meeting, council members asked about the potential for growth in the design, including inclusion of a sleeping area should the department ever move to a full-time service, as well as whether there’s sufficient parking to accommodate future growth. 

Architect Reema Masri noted a sleeping area will be located in the current training room, should the need arise. As for parking, Masri said the township’s planning department had been consulted and it was determined that approximately 50 parking spaces would be required, which is significantly more than what the fire department would currently require. 

The design of the training room, explained Fire Chief Jeff Kirk, will encompass Murphy beds that fold up into the walls in order to create a sleeping area. Locker rooms and bunker rooms will also all include provisions to allow for growth. 

“We are looking into the future. We are not looking for today, but we’re trying to set the township up to serve the residents out of this station for 40-plus years,” Kirk said. 

The four apparatus bays are “two deep” and allow for eight apparatus, the fire chief explained, adding the new station will house two pumper trucks, a tanker truck, an aerial truck, a “runabout” pickup truck as well the two trailers that are currently parked outside Station No. 3.

In an interview with BarrieToday, Kirk said he believes the Midhurst station design will be more than sufficient to meet the township’s current and future needs.

"We had a design focus in mind to have it look like a heritage building, although it’s modern with all of the roof lines as well. It will fit well in that second phase of development in the Hasty Tract,” he said. “I know we have a good project moving forward and it will serve the township well for probably 40-plus years.”

Once complete, Kirk said the building will serve multiple functions, including as Springwater Fire and Emergency Service’s new headquarters. 

“The design allows for that adaption to full-time (use). Our training room right now will be able to be repurposed to a dormitory and it will be a multi-functional room," he said. "Our emergency operations centre will be housed in that building as well, so it has a lot of aspects for growth.”

At full complement, the department has 100 volunteer firefighters, Kirk noted, adding they currently sit just shy of that with 95 volunteers, plus five full-time staff.

The vision the department brought before council is pretty much what's included in the building design, which was approved by council last week, Kirk acknowledged.

“It includes a fitness room for firefighters, meeting rooms, plenty of office space and is set up for proper use and storage of personal protective equipment (PPE). It meets all the needs for now and into the future,” he said.

“This was one of council’s top priorities (this term). One of their top strategic priorities was to see this fire station come to fruition, so hopefully in a couple of weeks we will be putting out the tender process for construction," the chief added. 

Kirk told BarrieToday that, in his experience, building a new fire station would typically take approximately one year to complete, however with current supply-chain issues, he’s anticipating this construction project will likely take longer.