Station 84’s tattered, vacant building will soon disappear as the El Dorado Hills Fire Board recently awarded a nearly $5 million contract to tear down the old station and build a new one on the Francisco Drive property.
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Contractor SW Allen Construction won the contract with a $4.933 million low bid, nearly $700,000 more expensive than budgeted.
Fire Board Director Wallace Fullerton addressed the higher price tag, saying that in the past year the economic climate has improved, driving up construction costs. He also noted that all the responsive bids received were very close in price. Directors Fullerton, Barbara Winn, Jim Hartley and John Hidahl approved the contract, plus a $60,274 special inspections contract with Youngdahl Consulting Group, at the July 8 meeting. Director Greg Durante was absent.
“People have been waiting a long time (for a new station),” Hidahl said.
A date has not been set for the old Station 84’s demolition.
Station 84 serves many north-side El Dorado Hills neighborhoods, including Summit, Southpointe, Vista Del Lago, Promontory, Marina and Lakehills.
Last summer, the station’s firefighters moved out of the building and into temporary quarters just down the street near the Burger Hut. Since then, firefighters have used the facility as a training ground, knocking out walls, cutting holes in the roof and practicing various scenarios.
The station, named after late fire chief Bob Cima, was built in 1982 and couldn’t handle another remodel. The roof leaked, the plumbing was less than reliable and the fire department had outgrown the space, which has a small engine bay that can’t adequately handle today’s fire equipment and lacks quarters for female firefighters. Discussions to replace the station began in 2007.
The replacement project was approved in 2012 and included in the El Dorado Hills Fire Department’s five-year plan. Funding for the new station comes from a combination of development fees (roughly half the cost), the district’s capital equipment fund and general reserves.
The new 10,000-square-foot fire station will be more than twice the size of its predecessor, designed to comfortably sleep six, with separate accommodations for female firefighters. The design includes an expanded apparatus bay, flanked by a single-story business center to the north and a two-story living structure south.
The public front desk and business office will be in the north structure, with parking on the side. The north structure will include a vented “turnout” room, where firefighters and volunteers store their protective equipment and disrobe after a fire, minimizing exposure to fire retardant or toxic substances they encounter.
It also includes a public restroom, a workout room and much-needed storage and communication rooms.
The day room, kitchen and workshop will be housed south of the apparatus bays, along with more bathrooms, communications rooms and storage rooms. A second floor dormitory includes four small rooms, a larger room that sleeps two and three bathrooms.
Out front, an inviting lawn area will contain a drinking fountain and public seating.
A 50-foot hose tower behind the south structure will prevent hose rot and double as a rescue training “prop,” while hosting an AT&T cell tower shrouded in metal siding.
Three enlarged drive-through apparatus bays will measure 10 feet by 40 feet, with remote-controlled 14-foot-wide roll-up doors at each end.
A large concrete apron in front of the apparatus bay will let the engines get some sun on nice days.
Mike Roberts contributed to this article.