Construction crews have started work on two new fire stations, one of which will replace a nearly 50-year-old station at Newman Lake.
Halme Builders Inc., of Davenport, began construction earlier this month in north Spokane County on a new $1.6 million fire station at 27515 N. Elk-Chattaroy Road.
Operated by Spokane County Fire District No. 4, Fire Station No. 40 is scheduled to be completed at the end of April 2016, says Van Falt, a Halme project manager. The new station will have about 5,800 square feet of space and will be able to accommodate four firefighting vehicles at once.
ZBA Architecture, PS, of Spokane designed the building, which will have sleeping quarters for up to eight firefighters, Falt says.
Though he calls it a “pretty straightforward project,” what Falt says he’s excited about is the fact that all the project’s participants will be using a cloud-based project management software called Procore.
“It’s very rare to have all the parties, the contractor, the architect, the owner—in this case District 4—all the subcontractors, and special inspectors communicating in one place,” Falt says. “Using cloud-based software is nothing new, but most time you’ll find that not all parties are using it.”
Falt says what is common is to have certain parties in the construction process communicating via email and sometimes getting left out of the loop on a project’s status. “I can’t remember seeing a project where everyone will be using the same software. The advantage is that it just streamlines the process altogether,” he says.
Fire District 4 Chief Randy Johnson says district officials originally awarded two contracts to Halme. Station 48, currently located at 19820 N. Mount Spokane Highway, was going to be replaced altogether at a nearby site.
However, Johnson says, “There are significant issues with the proposed site in the form of soil complications. We’re in conversation now with Halme and the architect to see about what other alternatives there may be moving forward.”
The two fire stations were scheduled to be built at the same time to the same design specifications as a way to save money, Johnson says. Fire District 4 serves more than 330 square miles of north Spokane County.
Separately, Ginno Construction, of Coeur d’Alene, recently started work for Spokane County Fire Protection District No. 13, also known as Newman Lake Fire & Rescue, on a new $1.8 million fire station, says project manager Dave Renaldo.
The new station will be located at 9324 N. Starr Road, roughly a mile from Fire Station 1, at 10236 W. Newman Lake Drive, which it will replace, says Fire Chief Keith Yamane.
TCA Architecture Planning, of Seattle, designed the 10,200-square foot fire station.
“Basically this is a total upgrade for us,” Yamane says. “On a couple of vehicles, we have to move the mirrors of the trucks in (at the current fire station) to keep them from hitting the walls.”
The current station was built in 1966. The new station will have a total of five bays, sleeping quarters for firefighting crews, more office space, and a workout room. The existing facility has three bays, no sleeping quarters, and minimal office space, Yamane says.
Yamane says the new station is scheduled to be complete within the first two months of next year.
The district serves a 23-square-mile area and is staffed by 25 volunteer firefighters, its website says.
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