LINCOLN CITY — North Lincoln Fire and Rescue closed the Bob Everest Station for construction last month to begin the process of retrofitting the structure with seismic safety precautions, as well as upgrading much of the equipment and facilities within.
The $4.5 million project — which comes on the heels of the Rose Lodge station renovation completed in February — is slated to be finished and the station ready to reopen in Jan. 2020.
“The seismic part of this project was funded by a grant from the state of Oregon for just about $1 million,” said Interim Fire chief Rob Dahlman. “And so the $3.5 million beyond that is for building upgrades ... What the community here is paying for is all of the additional upgrades beyond (seismic retrofitting) — becoming ADA compliant is a big one.”
Among the ADA compliance updates are an elevator, improved outdoor sidewalks and automatically opening doors. As for other building upgrades, new contamination areas, new sleeping quarters for the on-duty crew, new siding, a repaved parking lot and a bigger generator are all on the docket — to list a segment of the construction crew’s to-do list.
As for the seismic updates, the process of determining how to best secure the building was an interesting process, as the station was built in three individual parts: the first in 1964, the second in 1985 and the third around 20 years ago.
“It’s three separate buildings,” explained Dahlman. “So when engineers are trying to figure out ... what happens when the building shakes, you have to look at 1964, how they built it in 1964 where they had really no standards (compared) to 1992, they had more standards but they still didn’t have what they have today.”
There are other complications which may add to the workload. As the construction crew has been stripping drywall and planning their start on additions to the frame of the building, they’ve found inconsistencies in the plans.
“It’s not uncommon,” said District Captain Jim Kusz, “you go back to buildings, especially built in this era (1964), and you know the plans say one thing and then that’s not how it is. And we even find, with fire inspections, things like that, certain systems are supposed to be in there, fire suppression systems aren’t where (they should be).”
However, in budgeting for the project, there was a contingency fund built in for just this sort of occasion. Dahlman said they are still operating well within that budget.