Work begins on a $5.2-M project at Gander base

Kevin
Kevin Higgins
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Work began late last month on a new headquarters building for 91 CEF at 9 Wing Gander. The 1,300-square-foot building will house the unit’s administration sector, as well as act as its warehouse and storage facility. — Photo by Kevin Higgins/The Beacon

It’s been close to four years in the making, but the federal government’s promise of new buildings at CFB 9 Wing Gander has finally started to come to fruition.

Last month, the contract was awarded and work began on a new headquarters building for 91 CEF — the construction engineering flight corps located at 9 Wing Gander.

In 2009, then-minister of defence, Peter McKay, was in Gander to announce a $42.5-million infrastructure redevelopment plan for 9 Wing Gander, which included the new home for 91 CEF, as well as an extension to the military police and commissionaires building at the main entrance of the base, and the start of the construction phase of a new

L-shaped headquarters facility.

However, since that time, Town of Gander officials have been frustrated with the lack of work being done at 9 Wing Gander, as well as not receiving substantial information regarding the future of the redevelopment project from the Department of National Defence (DND).

Capt. Jeff Noel, a public affairs officer with 1 Canadian Division in Winnipeg, told The Beacon last week the 91 CEF project, which is valued at $5.2 million, is part of the redevelopment plan announced in 2009, and the whole redevelopment at 9 Wing Gander is still a priority for DND.

“It’s a long process, but once it’s initiated, then the process continues,” said Capt. Noel. “This is a positive sign for this ... and I want people to know that 9 Wing hasn’t been forgotten.”

He said the current project would see a building constructed to house 91 CEF’s administration sector, as well as warehouse and storage areas — all components totalling approximately 1,300 square feet. He expects the project to be completed in September 2014.

But there are more stages to come.

“Some projects identified for the Wing are in the early stages, some are in the development stage, and others are being in for future consideration ... where the project is in reference to funding depends on not only the priority for 9 wing but for all the Air Force Wings across Canada,” he said. “It’s frustrating for people (in those communities), but I can assure everyone, the processes are carrying on and the department is definitely continuing to prioritize the work at 9 Wing.”

The Beacon

Organizations: Department of National Defence, The Beacon

Geographic location: Gander, Winnipeg, Canada

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