Repairing century-old damage key part of Halifax Armouries rehabilitation

The North Park Armoury is a federally-designated heritage building and National Historic Site of Canada. This rehabilitation project will provide facilities to meet the operational requirements of two Canadian Army Reserve units.
The North Park Armoury is a federally-designated heritage building and National Historic Site of Canada. This rehabilitation project will provide facilities to meet the operational requirements of two Canadian Army Reserve units.

DCC experts and their industry colleagues are applying their talents to repairing a prominent landmark damaged in the 1917 Halifax explosion.

The west wall of the Halifax Armouries, a large, turreted structure built in the late 1890s, sustained major damage during the blast. Support cables were installed to stabilize the wall's lean but, after 100 years, it is getting worse, and the wall must be rebuilt, explains Peter Zwicker, Coordinator, Construction Services, at DCC Halifax.

The first step will be to construct a temporary wall to support the roof and protect the building’s interior. Then, the original wall will be removed and rebuilt with new stones, where required, and sculptural work to mimic the original. Zwicker expects the two-year $14-million contract to be awarded in May 2017.

Shoring up the wall is one aspect of a larger project to rehabilitate the facility. Work has been ongoing since 2011, beginning with major upgrades to the foundation and drainage (which led to the discovery of four buried 19th-century cannons).

Once the wall is complete, the project team will turn to repairing the remaining walls, installing mechanical systems and removing lead contamination, says Doug Polak, DCC Coordinator, Professional Services Contracts. Finally, the interior spaces will be reconfigured to meet the modern needs of the groups using the building.

The current end date for the project is 2025. And, DCC has been involved since the beginning. Knowing the project so well, Polak says, “we have been able to bring in the resources needed at every stage to limit the surprises and keep the project on track.”


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