We finally have an update on the station remodel. My apologies, first, for the delay since my last email on the subject. This has been a long and involved process and working out all the particulars has taken longer than any of us expected. We didn’t want to send out incomplete or misleading updates or share information on plans that were not yet finalized, especially as our plans have, by necessity, changed several times to reflect our changing situation – it has and will continue to be our goal to ensure that the information we are sharing with you is as accurate and complete as possible. This has unfortunately resulted in our not posting as many updates as we had planned. We expect, now that we’re in the process of finalizing our plans, that we will be more able to share updates with you in a timely fashion.
We have resolved the budgeting issues described in my previous email and come to satisfactory terms with our general contractor, G. H. Phipps. The work we originally planned for the building – which includes pushing the front out ten feet, widening the overhead doors, bringing the electrical and plumbing up to current standards, improving the insulation and re-cladding the exterior, and installing necessary safety features – will proceed in the spring and within the budget set by the bond issue. For a time, we had thought we might be able to add a separate meeting/training room on the end of the building, but the results of the soil compaction tests I mentioned in our previous email unfortunately indicated building difficulties that made that impossible within our budget. We have scrapped that idea and returned to our original plans, which accomplish all the upgrades to the building that we set out to achieve, guided by an in-depth review of the department’s needs both now and in the future.
At this time, our building contract with G. H. Phipps has been finalized at the original budgeted amount and the work can now proceed. The next steps include getting all the architectural plans finalized and to the county for permitting. It is our contractor’s intention to start construction in April of 2017. Although the weather at that time of year is not likely to permit exterior work, there is a great deal of interior demolition and refinishing that can be started at that time. There will also be finish work in the interior of the two-bay section of the station, which will be otherwise untouched by the remodel. Members of the fire department plan to do the finish work on this part of the building themselves throughout the summer.
Preparing for the remodel and finalizing the plans has been a long process, but we are now well on our way and excited by the improvements that will be made to the building and their positive impact on department operations, and confidently expect to be able to move back into our newly remodeled fire station by the end of the summer.
We’ll keep you informed as the remodel progresses.