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Up at the Fort Lupton Fire Protection District’s Station One, construction on the building’s addition running is full steam ahead, as well as expected and looks to finish ahead of schedule and on budget.
“They (contractors) got going the first part of January, and it really took off in February,” Fort Lupton Fire Protection District Chief Phil Tiffany explained. “Substantial completion was projected for of July, and they now have that for the end of June, so overall, they are at a week ahead of schedule.”
Substantial completion is the point where the facility is ready for acceptance inspection, and possible finishing touches are added to a ‘punch list’ for fine-tuning. Following the finishing touches, the building should be ready for occupancy by the tail end of July.
“We really have had no problems other than that the building became so long, there wasn’t a great enough ‘fall’ from the end of the building to the existing sewer line, so they had to run to the line behind here and that resolved it.”
Now comes time to staff the facility, a process Tiffany said is happening with an applicant pool from the district’s cadre of volunteers. 13 existing volunteers applied for seven positions (two have been filled thus far to stagger the training process)
“They’ll go through a written test, a physical agility test, an interview process with an interview panel, and they have to give a presentation,” Tiffany said. “We really like our firefighters to be fire preventers, to have the educational skills to go out and inspect building. They have to be a well-rounded candidate, someone balanced with training, education and experience.”
As the building process draws down, the training process accelerates.
“We start that process tomorrow, and we are taking that slow,” Tiffany said. “We aren’t pushing it with the 4th of July holiday and summer. Even though they have been with us, we are going to put them through another three-week training period so they know the expectations. Just getting them up to speed with what we expect form them as far as employees now.”
Reducing response times city-wide, the station will house a minimum of two people at all times, with between four and 10 personnel on duty. A full complement of fire trucks and apparatus will also occupy the station, further boosting response capabilities.
“We know that the city is growing, so what we have created is the ability to house an engine and a (ladder) truck to be right here in the center of the city,’ Tiffany said.
As far as structure, the building is largely complete. The result is two parts college dorm, one part community center, with firefighter comfort in mind. Inside, space was created for a fitness center, full kitchen facility and spacious common area. Ten single rooms were added for the firefighters, with common restroom/shower facilities separated by gender.
Externally, great care was taken to match the new segment to the original firehouse, all the down to recycling bricks taken out for the expansion into material for the new wing. The additional brick needed to complete the project was also carefully matched for size and color. Building fascias received a makeover as well, and complete the flow. The overall effect is of a new, modern facility that pays homage to the original firehouse, with greatly improved functionality.
A big part of the exterior work has been modifying the existing soil base, a hodgepodge of layers of and, clay and dirt, necessitating the removal of tons of substrate. That soil is then mixed, tested, redistributed and packed down, to ensure that the paving operations still to come last the decades the station will serve Fort Lupton.
“What we looked at was a facility to serve the city for at least the next 40 to 50 years,” Tiffany said. “When this is complete, it will serve that role, and fulfill the promise we made to the voters who approved the mil levy.”
Contact Staff Writer Gene Sears at firstname.lastname@example.org.