Arctic research station moves into design phase

Guest Contributor
September 28, 2011

The federal government has released a request for proposals for the design phase of the future Canadian High Arctic Research Station (CHARS) to be built in Cambridge Bay, western Nunavut. The $18-million, pre-construction design phase follows a $2-million feasibility study which is now complete. The two-stage process will first evaluate bidders' experience and expertise in building complex, high-profile projects involving multiple stakeholders, followed by an evaluation of the conceptual approaches for the facility's design. The design phase is expected to yield a contract by summer 2012 with a final design anticipated by summer 2014. The schedule for CHARS is expected see the facility completed and commissioned by fall 2017. An Arctic research strategy including a research station has been the focus of two major studies. The Council of Canadian Academies recommended a two-hub model with a logistical hub in a central location and a scientific hub in an "attractive and scientifically interesting setting". Another study by the Canadian Polar Commission called for a network of 12 major research stations stretching from Yukon to Labrador. The government's Northern Strategy also includes an $85-million Arctic Research Infrastructure Fund, which will be spread over 14 projects to upgrade and renovate existing research facilities (R$, April 16/09)….

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