Fire Station Project Incorporates Old, New

By Christina Fisher | September 28, 2010

Streamline, LLC has nearly completed a new state-of-the-art fire station for the town of Cornelius, N.C. The Cornelius Lemley Volunteer Fire Department project has included construction of a new 12,000-square-foot building that incorporates the original 6,000-square-foot station, which is undergoing renovation. The $3-million project is scheduled for completion in May 2008, two months ahead of schedule.

According to Alan Demaske, LEED AP and director at Streamline, the first challenge was bringing in the project within budget. Streamline worked diligently with Richard D. Mack, AIA, principal at RDM Architecture PA, and the town of Cornelius to find value engineering items to meet the budget without losing the integrity of the original design or any functionality as a fire station. For this reason, it was decided to maintain the original fire station and tie it into the new building. With this change, along with some additional value-engineered items, the overall project has saved between $500,000 and $600,000 for the town.

The new fire station was completed first. It includes four drive-through bays for fire trucks, and sleeping quarters, showers, an exercise room, and office space for the fire fighters. All of the emergency response systems have been modernized to better serve the community.

According to Doug Barrick, project manager with the town of Cornelius, the project has saved the town money in other ways as well.

"This station gave us the ability to add another ladder truck, which dropped our ISO rating the minute we got it. The ISO rating is (one factor) insurance companies use to determine the rates for homeowners and property insurance. The day we brought this station on line the rates dropped for our citizens. They not only got a bang for the buck with the new station, but also lower premiums."

The renovation of the old fire station building is currently underway. Once finished, this additional space will feature a training room, a renovated kitchen, restrooms, a day room, and future space for expansion. The parking lot will also be upgraded.

Everyone is quick to credit teamwork with the successful progress on the project. Richard Mack sums it up by stating, "The town of Cornelius is getting one heck of a project for the money they are spending. During the design process we had a lot of conversation about the size of the project, the growth of Cornelius, and the station's ability to serve more of the eastern part of its territory. We believe we have a project here that will serve the town of Cornelius well into the future."