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Fire station taking shape


Harsh weather delays completion, goal pushed back to March, but project under budget so far

The banging, drilling and general construction clatter will soon subside on Highway 99W in Dundee. Although the completion date for the new fire house has been pushed back, those involved remain optimistic.

“We did just give (the contractors) 12 days extra due to harsh weather conditions, but currently we’ve only extended due to weather,” said Dundee Fire Chief John Stock.

The new completion date should be in the first week or so of March, pushed back from the end of February. But Stock said things are really coming along.by: GARY ALLEN - Workers for Baldwin Construction install structural insulated panels at the new facility.

The site is slowly starting to look like a building. Most of the exterior walls are in place, the tower is only eight feet shy of its 40 feet height, and the interior is marked for internal walls. The site manager, Brad Christophersen of Baldwin Construction, said the roof should be installed in three weeks, which would mean the building could finish up quickly after that.

“We’re entertaining a lot of ideas of double shifts, working the subcontractors starting in the morning,” Christophersen said. “Once we’re inside we can work with industrial lights and weather’s not a factor. (It will) let everybody pass off their trades the to next group coming in.”

Stock said he’s glad to hear the plan for double shifts.

“That’ll get things going,” he said.

As for cost, Dundee Mayor Ted Crawford said the contractor is under budget by $500,000 of the $3.68 million allotted.

“We’re 4 percent over on change orders so far, but even though the change orders are over, we’d have to go $500,000 over that (for it to be an issue),” Crawford said. “We’ll reassess the amount if there’s an excess (when construction is done). That’s a good problem to have.”

Stock said he’s looking forward to the station’s completion. With the current quarters, there have been a lot of issues for staff.

“We clean equipment where we also prep food in the other station,” he said. “We currently get dressed in gear near the exhaust of the fire engines, so you could be getting your gear on a get a face full of exhaust.”

The new station includes separate rooms for cooking, cleaning gear, dressing and lounging as well as meetings, bunks, plenty of storage and keeps everything separate from the engine bays.

“The current fire station is 7,500 square feet; this engine bay area is 8,500 square feet alone,” Stock said as he gave a tour of the facility last week.

Crawford said when he was first elected he was asked if he would move forward with the plans to research constructing a new fire house.

“It should’ve been done a while ago,” he said. “When we’re building this fire station it’s supposed to be for 50 years. So we’re looking ahead 50 years.”

This includes the community spaces being added and the new bunk room.

“Moving forward we see the need for a 24-hour staff as the town grows,” he said.

Once the building is completed, the second phase will take place. This includes tearing down the current fire house, removing debris and turning the space into the parking lot.

Stock said that phase should be completed by the first week in May, just in time for the summer fire season.