A new Canadian Coast Guard building is coming to the St. John's harbourfront, and will provide a home for the rejuvenated Marine Rescue Sub-Centre.
The federal government announced the new Coast Guard Atlantic Headquarters Friday afternoon, paving the way for a facility that will provide coverage for the four Atlantic provinces.
The project, which will cost about $18.2 million, is set to be completed in early 2019. J.W. Lindsay Enterprises has won the contract.
"The construction of this new, energy efficient Coast Guard headquarters building will create good-paying jobs and economic opportunities in Newfoundland and Labrador and throughout the Atlantic region," said Judy Foote, the minister of public services and procurement.
The Marine Rescue Sub-Centre is set to return to St. John's by 2018. The building will also hold the regional operational centre.
The St. John's sub-centre was closed as the result of federal budget cuts in 2011, a that move sparked protests and criticism of the former Conservative government. Before it closed, the centre responded to about 500 incidents in an average year.
The Liberal Party campaigned on a promise to re-open the base, and Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc made an official announcement last fall that the base would again operate out of St. John's.
The federal government said in a news release Friday that the new building will have "enhanced emergency coordination capabilities."
New building for growing needs
"The existing building, built in 1962, is over 50 years old and is no longer suitable as the Canadian Coast Guard continues to upgrade and modernize operations," the federal government said in a news release.
The new building will have "environmentally-friendly" features, according to the federal government, such as a geothermal energy feature, that is expected to save 200,000 litres of fuel.
Once employees transfer into the building, the old Atlantic headquarters will be demolished.