British Columbia

Site C worker lodge ready to house 1,600 employees in Fort St. John

A new $470-million lodge to house workers for the Site C dam project has been completed.

New $470-million building features movie theatre, spiritual centre, convenience store, gym

The Site C worker lodge has been completed. It will house up to 1,600 workers in Fort St. John (Brett Hyde/CBC News)

Approximately a year after construction began, BC Hydro's Site C emplolyee accommodation lodge is ready to house 1,600 workers in Fort St. John.

There are currently more than 1,800 people working on the Site C Dam project and the minister of Energy and Mines says most of them are locals.

"More than 80 per cent of them are from B.C.," said Bill Bennett. "I know that was a worry for people going into the commencement of this project."

ATCO subsidiary, Two Rivers Lodging Group, won the $470-million contract to build the work camp. 

The Site C lodge has several amenities including a movie theatre, spiritual centre, hair salon, coffee shop and convenience store. 

Jessica McDonald, the president and CEO of BC Hydro, said the completed building will allow contractors to hire more people for the Site C project.

"Now, up to 1,600 workers can be housed at the lodge, allowing the Site C contractors to continue to ramp up their hiring."

When it is completed, the Site C Dam will flood a valley 83-kilometres long, between Hudson's Hope and Fort St. John.

It has been opposed by some environmentalists, farmers and First Nations.

"It's a hugely expensive, useless project," said the Wilderness Committee's Joe Foy.

"Here we are building infrastructure when we should be building schools and hospitals — communities all over B.C. are crying out for those things."

The Site C dam is expected to be completed by 2024, according to BC Hydro.