The federal government wrote a big cheque Tuesday morning, handing over $19 million for the construction of an indoor firing range in Chilliwack.
“Construction of a new firing range is an important investment into the City of Chilliwack’s economy that will have positive impacts for many years to come,” said Mark Strahl, MP for Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon, announcing the funding. “I am very pleased that our government continues to make the safety and security of Canadians a priority.”
Plans have been in the works for a long time to have a new firing range built in the Canada Education Park.
The existing range is outdoors, and is notorious for being noisy and disruptive to its neighbours. It will be shut down before its lease expires in March, 2016.
The University of the Fraser Valley will re-purpose the building, and the land surrounding it, blending it into the school’s agricultural program.
Site preparation work has already begun on the one-acre facility, which will be located at Keith Wilson and Tyson roads, north of the current facility. Construction of the new range begins in June or July, with CEPCO (Chilliwack Economic Partners Corporation) managing the process. The new building is expected to be complete by December of 2015.
Described as ‘state of the art,’ the new firing range will be used by the RCMP and CBSA (Canadian Border Services Agency). Up to 32 officers will be able to train at any given time, firing over a distance of 50 metres. The RCMP will lease the building from CEPCO for the first five years, then purchase it at a total end-cost of $19 million.
Most importantly to anyone living or working near the new firing range, tilt-up concrete walls and other technology ensure the building will be completely sound-proofed.
“It will be completely indoors, meaning no sound at all will be heard from the outside,” CEPCO’s director of special projects, John Jansen, said about the plans in late March.
“We are very confident that there will be very, very little noise,” said Supt. Michel Legault.