The City of Cuyahoga Falls currently operates five fire stations throughout the municipality. Fire Station 3 had not been renovated in 40 years and had fallen into disrepair. The city commissioned a study to compare the costs and benefits of either renovating the station or constructing a new station. Through careful consideration, it was determined construction of a new facility would be the most cost-effective approach to providing the enhanced program desired by the city.
Preliminary project meetings were conducted with the city’s executive team, including the Fire Chief, Assistant Chief, Service Director, and City Engineer. Further sessions to develop detailed user needs followed with fire fighters and other city personnel. Insights gathered from these sessions helped to define the overall scope, schedule, and project budget. This information was shared and refined with the executive team in a collected effort to provide a final program to meet all the city’s needs.
The new 15,000 square foot facility features a six bay garage with three drive-thru apparatus bays to house a variety of emergency service vehicles. The garage has extended ceiling heights to facilitate easier fire equipment repair, clerestory windows for natural light, and polished concrete floors designed to be low maintenance.
The facility provides public access spaces on the first floor including a public entrance with emergency phone, training/community rooms, watch office, and a first aid room. Living quarters for the full-time quads on the second floor include bunkrooms, day room, laundry room, kitchen, and dining areas. Additional staff amenities include a fitness space medical grade infrared sauna, and covered patio off the side of the facility.
One of the unique challenges involved the existing project site. The city’s intent was to demolish the existing fire station and reuse the site for the new structure. The size of the site provided a challenge because the proposed facility, when completed, would occupy three times the square footage of the original station and, with drive-thru bays, would require more than double the circulation space. By working with the Cuyahoga Falls School District, supplemental property was acquired, allowing both the building and circulation space in addition to providing surplus property access for the school district.