From replacing old wooden floors to installing new sprinklers, upgrading an 82-year-old former drill hall is a complex task. In support of the Canadian Forces Real Property Operation Group’s Detachment Trenton, the DCC team at 8 Wing CFB Trenton is on track to finish the $4.5-million project on schedule. DCC awarded the project contract in September 2022.

The building has served many functions since it opened in 1942, explains Kayla Smith, Technical Specialist, Project Management at DCC Trenton. At one point, the 2,250-square-metre structure even housed a bowling alley, and a gym still occupies one-third of it.

“The vintage of the building definitely was the greatest hiccup of the project,” says Nicholas Hilts, DCC Coordinator, Construction Services. Because the building had been reconfigured so many times, it was difficult to determine what lay behind some of the walls until renovations began, but no insurmountable problems emerged.

The project is designed to provide upgraded space for the building’s primary occupants, 8 Air Communications and Control Squadron, which supports the RCAF by setting up airfield communications in all environmental conditions. Major facets of the ongoing renovation include replacing a partial mezzanine with a full second floor, upgrading fire alarms and fire suppression features, pouring new concrete slab floors, installing new bathrooms, plumbing, and HVAC system.

The retrofitted building will include a new second-floor conference room with state-of-the-art audio-visual capabilities. That has required DCC to coordinate activities with multiple stakeholders, including the Client-Partner—which is installing the AV technology—design consultants and contractors.

When the project wraps up in summer 2024, this Second World War building will be well equipped for the 8 Wing personnel’s 21st-century requirements.

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