With Halifax’s North Park Armoury shedding its scaffolding in early March 2022, the multi-year project to restore this 120-year-old military facility moves into Phase 2.

Phase 1 involved rebuilding the armoury’s west wall, which had been damaged during the 1917 Halifax Explosion, explains Dean MacMullin, DCC Coordinator, Construction Services.

The wall was rebuilt, damaged exterior stones replaced, and a wider entrance created to accommodate modern military vehicles. New structural elements, such as steel bracing in the roof that ties into the wall, bring the wall up to modern seismic standards.

Phase 2 will see 21st century technology such as solar panels, geothermal wells and heat recovery ventilators installed to significantly reduce fossil fuel use at the federal heritage building and National Historic Site. These features, along with additional insulation in the roof, will earn the facility the 3 Green Globes environmental rating, MacMullin says.

Phase 2 will also bring upgraded office and administrative areas, new classrooms and multi-purpose rooms. The second-floor mess will be overhauled, and floor levels upgraded for barrier-free access.

Lessons learned from the west wall on matters such as window design and wall construction will carry into the next phase, as well as consistent corporate memory, MacMullin notes. “We’ve taken a team approach to the project so far, and it’s the same team going forward.”

Pending funding approval, MacMullin expects the Phase 2 work to go out for tender later in 2022. With an estimated 3.5 to 5 years to go in the restoration, the armoury, which was constructed between 1895 and 1899, should then last for another 120 years, and look good while doing it.

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