Last week, Ray Holliday and Lisa Andel from our College Station studio participated in the ground breaking for Pearland Fire Station No. 3 alongside: the General Contractor, Crain Group; Pearland Mayor, Tom Reid; and City Manager, Clay Pearson. Construction has commenced on the new 10,726 square foot station which is located on the corner of Yost Blvd. and Broadway St. adjacent to the existing EMS station. The new station will accommodate both Fire and EMS as the department transitions from volunteer to a career fire department and the two emergency entities have now merged. The existing EMS station that is currently located in a converted house on the same site as the new station will remain functional throughout construction. The new Fire Station #3 will accommodate 10 full-time fire fighters and is expected to be open and operational by April 2015, after which the existing EMS station will be demolished.
Photo Courtesy of City of Pearland
Last Thursday, December 19th, Fire Chief Jimmy Chew dedicated the new Fire Station No. 2 to the Stephenville Community. The main ceremony was held outside the station before Chief Chew invited the community inside to tour the new facility. As the newest Fire Station to be built in almost 50 years (The previous Station No. 2 was completed 1954), this station is assuming most of the fire protection responsibilities including administration, training, housing of needed equipment, and quarters for the firefighters.
Chief Chew noted the many traditions that fire departments have when a new station is opened. He briefly explained a few of the traditions being observed in Stephenville. The flag ceremony was performed by the local combined Color Guard (bagpipe and axes). One of the other traditions is having the newest firefighter steer the pumper truck into the apparatus bay with the community pushing the truck (as shown). Mayor Kenny Weldon and Chief Chew thanked all the citizens and city officials, past and present, that participated in making Sephenville Fire Station No. 2 a reality, noting that this was a community effort started over ten years ago.
Located in the rapidly growing community of College Station, Fire Station No. 6 is sited on the main entry corridor to the City. This 25,000 SF Design-Build facility is a landmark fire station for the City and the fire personnel traveling from departments across the country to one of the nation’s premier fire schools.
To meet the growing needs of the community, the new station was designed to accommodate 3 shifts of 14 fire personnel and house the largest of the department’s apparatus in the five 100’ deep apparatus bays. With an understanding of the need for balance between a home and work atmosphere, we carefully equipped the station with low maintenance, highly durable materials which promise to maintain its aesthetic quality for years. In addition to the bedrooms and bays, the floor plan consists of storage and office spaces, EMS storage room, bunker gear/laundry room, weight room, electrical/communications room, report-writing room, kitchen, dining room, day room, watch room, bathrooms with showers, a community/training room for staff training or community use, and a HAZMAT gear storage room.
One of the challenges of the site were the remnants of a groundwater storage tank foundation, which had been there until the late 1990s. Record drawings, aerial maps and satellite imagery were used to help locate the abandoned infrastructure to ensure that any underground obstructions were cleared for the foundation construction. To address traffic control issues, the project team worked closely with the city’s traffic engineer and others to implement controls for the traffic control signal at University Drive and Tarrow Street.
State-of-the-art equipment was integrated into the design of this station to maximize its function. The custom alerting system ensures efficient notification of emergencies to the personnel, while simultaneously protecting the station by triggering a gas shut off valve to stop the flow of gas to appliances and the grill. Timers are integrated into the exhaust system to allow for clarity of radio signal and ample air exchange within the apparatus bays. Override switches are integrated into the bay door design to ensure that the heating system does not run while the bay doors are open, thus reducing the operating costs of the station.
BRW was recently published in Texas Fire Chief Magazine. Click here to read the first article in a three part series entitled: “Form Follows Function in Fire House Design”. The series was written by Ray Holliday, AIA, ASLA, LI (BRW’s College Station Studio Director), Nicole Story and Diane Jones. This month’s topic is Site Selection. Stay tuned for future articles “Collaborating with the Community” and “Fire Department Philosophies”. To view a PDF version of the article, click here.
September 11, 2012 was a bittersweet day on South Padre Island. As the city remembered the fire fighters and other fallen heroes of the World Trade Center attacks, they also gathered at 106 West Retama Street to dedicate their new central fire station. The 20,000 square foot building was the long-awaited replacement for the old fire station that had been badly damaged by Hurricane Dolly in 2008.
State Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr. spoke at the dedication. American and Texas flags were raised for the first time on the station’s flagpole then slowly lowered to half-mast. A steel beam that had been removed from the World Trade Center rubble was on permanent display in the public plaza in front of the station. Chief Burney Baskett said that the beam will be a reminder of “the deadliest day in the history of the United States Fire Service”.
The distinctive form of the three-story building reflects the need for the emergency operations center (EOC) to remain high off the ground and functional during harsh weather conditions as well as the demand for a compact building footprint due to high property values. BRW aimed to provide a building that neither compromised on durability nor stood out as a bunker among the festive buildings on the island. That goal was achieved by a two-part solution. First, a cast-in-place concrete structure with reinforced concrete block infill was designed to provide a tough exterior shell. Second, the upper floors were clad with a warm wood-composite rainscreen system which, during a storm, will equalize air pressure and obstruct driving rain.
POSTED BY: BRIAN GIBBS, AIA