Work starts in July on Augusta's Hartford Fire Station – Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

AUGUSTA — The $6 million growth and renovation of Hartford Fire Station is supposed to protect the look of the fireplace division’s present, practically 100-year-previous headquarters constructing whereas including a big new part sufficiently big to accommodate at present’s bigger, heavier hearth vans.

However whereas the brand new addition could have a brick facade like the unique older construction, and also will have the identical primary function and be hooked up to the previous constructing, it would technically be a separate constructing.

That’s as a result of if the prevailing constructing, which will probably be renovated as a part of the mission, have been to be thought-about a part of the identical constructing because the deliberate new addition, and maintain entrance-line hearth vans, it must be upgraded to fulfill fashionable constructing code requirements. These requirements, which require public security buildings to have the ability to face up to pure disasters, didn't exist when the unique Hartford Station was constructed in 1920.

Matt Nazar, metropolis improvement director, instructed the Planning Board final week whereas the unique Hartford was constructed previous to these constructing codes being in place, it has demonstrated its capacity to face up to pure disasters in half by merely remaining standing for practically 100 years.

“It has definitely withstood some important pure occasions and stayed standing,” Nazar stated, noting a 1938 hurricane was one of many greatest New England has ever seen, which Hartford withstood, and likewise citing main winter snowstorms. “Renovating to the Class four requirements can be very costly and, at this level, pointless, in the opinion of the emergency providers of us and administration of the town. From a building perspective it’s technically going to be a separate constructing. Despite the fact that it would appear like one constructing, they’ll be constructed to 2 completely different requirements. One constructed to fashionable constructing codes and one constructed to its present requirements which, we do really feel, is a really secure constructing.”

Metropolis officers stated bringing the older constructing as much as these requirements would add substantial price to the mission, greater than $100,000. So, as an alternative, although the buildings will probably be hooked up, share the identical primary perform and seem to anybody passing by to be a single constructing, the addition will probably be constructed as if it have been a separate constructing.

Fire Chief Roger Audette stated the prevailing, 4-storage-bay a part of the station is not going to maintain any entrance-line hearth vans or ambulances, as an alternative solely holding second-line vans, gear, and rescue autos and provides not often used on most emergency calls. That can enable the constructing to stay in use with out being upgraded to fulfill the upper requirements.

Audette stated the fireplace division labored with the town’s code workplace and reviewed state and federal hearth codes and decided it was not required that the older part of Hartford, if it doesn’t maintain entrance-line hearth or rescue equipment, meet the trendy requirements for pure disasters.

The Planning Board permitted the mission final week and work is anticipated to start out on it in about 4 weeks, based on Audette. As soon as work starts, it's anticipated to be full in about 500 days.

The growth will greater than double the scale of the station, which sits prominently on a hill wanting down on the town’s downtown.

Planning Board members permitted the mission unanimously, with some praising it for preserving the older part of the constructing whereas offering the brand new addition to deal with hearth vans, together with the town’s new ladder truck, which might be too huge and heavy to suit into the unique construction.

“All the time, from the time I first moved to Augusta, I’ve liked that constructing sitting on the hill there,” stated A. Delaine Nye, board member. “And I’m so glad the addition is being finished in such a means it would keep the dignity, the aesthetic look, of the constructing.”

Residents approved bonding up to $6 million for the project last year.

The addition to the station will probably be put on what's now a parking zone and a part of Gage Road, which was discontinued as a road by a 2008 Metropolis Council vote, although it has continued for use as a via road, from Memorial Drive to Water Road.

That public vehicular entry is about to finish, as that a part of the previous Gage Road will, as a part of the mission, solely be allowed to be accessed by public security autos. A public sidewalk there'll stay open to the general public.

The addition will function two giant drive-through bays, in addition to further, rear-going through bays for ambulances and different autos and gear.

Town tore down two condo buildings adjoining to Hartford as a part of the mission.

Audette stated more often than not, rescue autos will omit the entrance of the positioning onto Water Road. However he stated there will probably be provisions made to permit hearth or rescue autos, when wanted, to go away the station and go instantly, out the again of the positioning, onto Memorial Drive. Town is working with the state Division of Transportation however Nazar and Audette stated they anticipate there will probably be some type of a warning gentle to cease visitors on Memorial Drive so hearth and rescue autos can enter that usually-busy road with out having to attend for a break in visitors.

Audette stated more often than not rescue staff and autos will depart the positioning on Water Road, and can solely use the Memorial Drive means when there may be an incident, requiring a speedy response, in that fast space, reminiscent of an accident on Memorial Bridge.

The development mission is anticipated to handle structural issues with the old section of the building, and supply way more area for coaching and fashionable sleeping quarters for firefighter-paramedics, who work across the clock.

Town additionally just lately built and opened a new fire station in North Augusta, to reply to fires, accidents and different emergency calls in that rising a part of the town.

Keith Edwards — 621-5647

[email protected]

Twitter: @kedwardskj

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Work starts in July on Augusta's Hartford Fire Station - Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel