Tuesday, October 29, 2002
Steamboat Springs The Mountain Fire Station will more than double in size in an expansion project that is ongoing at the building along Pine Grove Road.
Exterior work on the building is being completed, said Deputy City Manager Wendy DuBord. More than 4,000 square feet of new space is being added to the 3,000-square-foot fire station.
The additions include a 900-foot ambulance bay and a 3,060-square-foot second floor.
The second floor will accommodate offices, a living area and training spaces.
Construction is expected to be complete by the end of February. The remodeled fire station will house full-time staff 24 hours per day.
Assistant Fire Chief Bob Struble's office and an ambulance will also be located at the station.
Built in 1984, the fire station had housed a residence program for volunteers and two bays for fire equipment.
The full-time staff has been stationed at the ambulance barn on Yampa Avenue.
Right now the fire department has two firefighters on 24 hours per day, but that number could increase to four if a property tax dedicated to fire and ambulance services passes in the Nov. 5 election.
Struble's office will move from the city's public works building into the expanded station.
The expansion would move the full-time operations to the station and increase response time to the mountain area, which Struble said accounts for 60 percent of the fire department's calls.
Coming from downtown, Struble said, adds another four to five minutes to response times.
The station also puts the fire department closer to outlying subdivisions such as Storm Mountain Ranch, Blacktail and Catamount. The southeast part of the district extends to Muddy Pass to just above Stagecoach Reservoir and to Oak Creek Canyon.
Struble said fire insurance premiums for those areas could go down with the change.
"We are moving the full-time fire operations out to the mountain for two reasons," Struble said. "No. 1, the mountain area has the biggest call volume. The second reason is it helps out people in the southern part of the fire district. It improves response times for both service areas."
Struble said the fire station downtown would still house the fire-prevention program and volunteers will continue to respond to calls coming into the downtown station.
The city has talked about expanding since 1994, when it received an Energy Impact Fund grant for the project but decided not to match its funding, Struble said.
DuBord said construction is on schedule for the $930,000 expansion project.
The city received a $300,000 grant through the Energy Impact Fund, and the Steamboat Springs Rural Fire Protection District agreed to pay for one-third of the cost.
Since starting the expansion project in August, TCD Inc. has finished the foundation, completed a majority of the framing and finished the roof.
DuBord said most of the exterior work is done, which means crews can start on the interior of the expansion before winter arrives.
TCD is contracted to finish the project by Feb. 28. The city will do sidewalk and trail work in front of the building.
The building is being used for fire equipment storage, but no one is working there now.
Despite the construction on the site, DuBord said the emergency vehicles are easily accessible if needed on calls.