Putting the last block on the castle

A giant crane swung the last prefabricated housing module into place this morning at the 2007 Canada Winter Games athletes’ village at Yukon…

A giant crane swung the last prefabricated housing module into place this morning at the 2007 Canada Winter Games athletes’ village at Yukon College.

“Ten short months ago we announced what we were going to do and now, we’re happy to be here on time and on budget,” said Premier Dennis Fentie, braving the blustery weather on top of the hill.

“It’s a job well done, but there’s more to come — the interiors and exteriors need to be finished.”

The housing modules, trucked individually from Atco Structure’s production plant in Calgary, come with wiring, carpets, cupboards, drywall and bathrooms in place.

“These are some fabulous apartments,” said Whitehorse mayor Ernie Bourassa.

“One box is the living room and kitchen, while the next is the bedroom and bathroom.”

Add another module and it becomes a three-bedroom apartment.

“You just cut holes in the wall,” said Bourassa.

Although they come as complete units, the housing modules still need finishing touches.

And many local contractors will be getting these jobs, said Fentie.

Northerm Windows won a $98,000 bid with Atco to supply windows for all the modules, while Keith Plumbing and Heating has a $4.3-million contact for the athletes’ village.

Yukon companies have been awarded a total of $11 million in contracts for work on the athlete’s village so far, while global giant Atco received $9.7 million for the 141 housing modules it supplied.

“It was quicker and cheaper to bring in these prefabricated housing modules,” said Bourassa.

“And we couldn’t have built it this quickly if we were just building a stick building from scratch.”

“Because of the time crunch, (the housing modules) became one of a few very limited options,” added Fentie.

“Our greatest anxiety was to pull together housing for the athletes,” said Canada Winter Games Host Society president Piers McDonald.

“Athletes need two things, food and housing — and this had to come together. It was our signature project for the Games.”

When initial proposals for the athlete’s village fell through, the Games’ host society entered an agreement with the city and the territorial government.

“The city contributed millions and the government has contributed over $20 million,” said Fentie.

“And we are pleased to be involved, because these buildings will be part of a long and lasting legacy that will contribute to the education system long after the Games are done.”

After the Games end, one of the two buildings is slated to become a student residence. The other will become affordable housing, said Fentie.

The athletes’ village has a total budget of $31 million.

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