By TEREASA NIMS
Sunday Times Newspapers
WYANDOTTE – While the Central Fire Station is structurally sound, the fire chief said it lacks up-to-date technology and needs some plumbing and electrical work, leading city officials to shell out $10,000 to examine the viability of the building.
“We’re early in the process,” Fire Chief Jeff Carley said.
He said the station, at 266 Maple St., was built in 1939 and has served the city well; however, it lacks in some areas.
Carley said he and city officials began looking at the longevity of the building, asking if it made more sense to renovate the current structure or find another location for the station.
To help answer the question, city officials hired Thomas Roberts Architect, LLC to examine the systems and infrastructure and make recommendations. They recently approved paying $10,000 for the service.
Carley hopes for renovation.
“My hope is this building will meet operational needs into the future,” Carley said. “It’s a great building. It has served the city well for 77 years.”
Yet, city officials say they don’t want to sink money into a building that may not suffice long-term.
This isn’t the city’s first rodeo with aging buildings. City officials renovated the Ford Street Fire Station, 1992 Ford Ave., about 10 years ago. It was built in 1929.
Carley said one of the great things about the fire station is its historical value. The building served as a bomb fallout shelter, complete with 14-inch reinforced concrete. It is also the fire station that the old fire boxes in town used to ring into. It also has two fire poles, which are now prohibited by state code, due to liability.
The Ford Avenue station also had a pole, which was kept during the renovation.
“It doesn’t go anywhere,” Carley said of the now single-story pole.
One potential problem with the current station is if the apparatuses get any wider, they won’t fit though the bay doors. Modern departments have bay doors between 14 and 16 feet wide. The Maple Street station’s bay doors are 13 feet wide.
Of the city’s 3,000 fire and emergency calls in 2015, Central station firefighters responded to 1,700 of them.
(Tereasa Nims can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)