Construction is underway on Corning Fire Department’s new fire station.
The new station will be located where the old one was demolished, but will be larger to store more equipment and taller fire trucks.
Construction on the station began in the first part of May, and is expected to be completed in January, after 270 days. The building will be erected in the first part of September.
The construction is not on schedule, however, according to Corning City Council Member Bert Peckham.
“We’ve had so much rain we’re running considerably behind,” Peckham said.
Part of the building will be paid for with a United States Department of Agriculture grant. The grant money totals $525,000.
The original budget drawn up before bids were initially taken was at $1.5 million, with the project at $1.4 million. Bids for general contractors were opened August 2013. There were four bids, all over the budget.
However, since then, the budget was set at $1.5 million.
“It may not be quite that much, but we will use the grant for fire equipment if we don’t use it all on the building,” Peckham said.
New plans were drawn up after the bids, with a projected cost of about $1.2 million. Since the original bids were too high, the building was redesigned.
“It was redesigned,” Peckham said. “The biggest change was we went to a metal building.”
It was originally planned to be concrete.
The new station will be double the size of the former one, with measurements of 100 feet by 95 feet. The meeting room size will be larger, and it will house men’s and women’s restrooms and offices. The bay area for the fire trucks and other equipment will also be larger.
“The size of the building stayed the same,” Peckham said. “We just took some of the bells and whistles out of it and changed the construction material.”
Radiant heat will be used in the bay area, which will more efficiently heat objects and people within an area, rather than heating the air. No air conditioning will be installed in the bay area, but the enclosed areas in the station will be heated and cooled.
Until the building is complete, equipment will be stored in other buildings in Corning.
“We’ve got a contract with the school, and they’ve got a four-bay bus barn that they can’t get their buses in now because their buses are all too long. We’ve had our fire trucks in there, and they will be parked down there,” said Corning Volunteer Fire Chief Don Willett. “That is two blocks from the station. Bunker gear and trucks will be there. All other stuff right now will be stored in part of a city shed.”
Meetings will also be held in a shed near Southwest Valley High School, which used to be an armory.
The new fire station will be taller than the former building, also, which will allow the department to purchase trucks without special ordering ones that are shorter and fit inside.
The fire station was located on Davis Avenue, and the new one will be in the same spot.
A spot was chosen along Highway 34, but it was in a flood plain, which was raised from a 500-year to a 100-year after floods in 2010. If the site was the final chosen spot, the city would have lost the grant money, and would have had to pay flood insurance.
A flood plain is the area near a body of water that experiences flooding, and how often it is flooded is known by the year amount.
The original location was then decided upon by a committee of local people.
Land behind the station, which the new plan extends into, was owned by Adams County. However, the county is giving the property to the city for the fire department.
Corning Fire Department’s current building want erected in 1964 and dedicated in 1965. Since the dedication, the department’s coverage area has expanded to 227 square miles, including four miles into Taylor County.
There are currently 27 active volunteer firefighters with Corning Fire Department.