Medina Village Board wants public to see shortcomings of current fire hall

Rendering and design by Barton & Loguidice: An addition to the Medina fire hall would have tall enough bays with a building long enough to accommodate a new ladder truck. The current fire hall only gives about 2 inches of clearance in the garage doors. The fire trucks would go to the new addition while the ambulances are moved to space where the fire trucks are currently housed.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 February 2023 at 4:06 pm

Village expects to have public information meeting in near future on fire hall expansion, new ladder truck

MEDINA – Mayor Mike Sidari wants to build public support for a new ladder truck and an expanded fire hall to accommodate that big fire apparatus.

The board will meet at 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 27 to tour the fire hall and see the shortcomings of that facility: including doors that only have about 2 inches of clearance for fire trucks, sunken and uneven floors, and cracks in the walls.

Sidari said he would like to have the public also see the deficiencies of the building in person. He said the fire department has a clear need for a bigger and more modern fire hall.

The board in November received a report from the Barton & Loguidice firm that estimated the fire addition, plus repairs to the current fire hall, would be about $4.5 million. That doesn’t include the cost for the new ladder truck which could be in the $1.5 million to $2 million range, depending on when the village commits to the truck.

Photo by Tom Rivers: The current fire hall barely has clearance for fire trucks and the building needs some repairs. Newer fire trucks are too tall for the current bays.

The prices have been rising fast in recent years, with a shortage of materials and lead time now over 3 years from when the truck is ordered to when it is ready.

Fire Chief Matt Jackson told the Village Board on Monday the current lead time is 39 to 41 months.

Jackson and the fire department in recent years have been urging the Village Board to commit to a new ladder truck and a bigger fire hall.

“There is no doubt we have been dragging our feet,” Sidari said during Monday’s board meeting. “The biggest thing is we need the public buy-in. If we don’t, you know what will happen. It will be all over social media and it will get ugly.”

Sidari would like there to be public information meetings for residents to learn more about the need for the ladder truck and bigger building.

The board also wants to expand the village office next to the fire hall door on Park Avenue.

Barton & Loguidice put the fire hall addition at $4.5 million with the addition to the village office at up to $1.5 million. With furnishings for the two buildings, the total cost could be close to $7 million, Sidari said.

The plan for the fire hall includes an addition approximately 62 feet, 8 inches by 88 feet, 8 inches.

The addition would be on the current fire hall on the west side in an area that is currently a parking lot. That addition is needed to house a new ladder truck.

The current ladder truck is from 1996. That truck has a ladder that is 75 feet long. That truck has a clearance of 10.4 feet but the space in the garage is 10 feet, 6 inches, Jackson said.

The new ladder trucks have a clearance of 13 feet. The design for the new hall addition would have bays that allow up to 14 feet.

With a new space for fire trucks, the ambulances could be moved to the current fire house. The space for the ambulances right now could be used for police cars or perhaps as a meeting area, Sidari said.

The fire hall project also would include:

  • A new public entry, radio room/office, laundry room, EMS room, restrooms, Decon room, gear room, mechanical room, tool room, and apparatus bay with the existing apparatus bay being repurposed to house the village ambulances.
  • A mezzanine space will be located along the perimeter of the new apparatus bay with file storage and office space accessed from the existing building second floor hallway.
  • A new air and vapor barrier membrane and new exterior cladding system will be installed over the existing concrete masonry unit wall construction of the existing fire station, and the existing overhead sectional doors will be relocated and replaced allowing for adequate clearances around the ambulance apparatus bay.
  • The renewal of the building’s existing façade will result in creating a weather tight envelope while simultaneously allowing the cladding system of the addition to carry over creating a cohesive look to the updated facility.
  • The existing concrete slab in the existing ambulance apparatus bay will be replaced, including the installation of new trench drainage and epoxy floor finish.
  • The outdated emergency generator located south of the alley will be replaced and upgraded to accommodate the fire station and addition.

“We really have to get buy-in from the village residents,” Sidari said. “Let’s show them why we really need this.”

Sidari would like to see chalk markings on the outside of the current fire hall to show the height needed for a new ladder truck. He also said residents should be invited to see firefighters move the big trucks in and out of the fire hall, to see the tight fit.

They also can see the other damage in the building, which Barton & Loguidice estimated would cost about $600,000 to fix.

The village is considering a 42 by 48 foot addition with a vestibule on the side that is 7 feet by 10 feet, 8 inches. That addition primarily would include meeting space.

The project would include two fully accessible restrooms and drinking fountains, as well as more parking. A window would be eliminated in the employee breakroom, and a hallway reconfigured to the new addition.

Barton & Loguidice said the village office addition presents infrastructure challenges similar to the fire station addition. Although there is no underground electrical service, there may be utility work associated with the construction of the new restrooms to connect into the sanitary piping within Park Avenue’s right of way, the report states.

The Village Board is looking to expand the village office and add some parking in the greenspace area west of the current village office on Park Avenue.