News, Police/Fire

Outdated Lynn fire stations slated for renovations, replacement

Ladder 1 pulls out of the Fayette Street Fire Station on its way to a call on Thursday. (Spenser R. Hasak)

LYNN — The 54-year-old Fayette Street Fire Station will undergo extensive renovations following the completion of a $47,000 feasibility study. The future facelift is part of the city’s plans for a major overhaul of several of its fire stations.

Future plans include replacing two stations that are more than a century old with a new West Lynn fire house. The two outdated stations, Pine Hill and Tower Hill, were built to house horse-drawn equipment.

The city’s Inspectional Services Department (ISD) is soliciting architectural firms to conduct the study, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year. The study will determine the cost of the renovations and recommendations for what work needs to be done, according to Michael Donovan, ISD chief.

“Whatever the cost of the study says, it needs to be done,” Donovan said. “The building is old. We did windows and roofs in the past decade but the inside needs a lot of work.”  

Proposed work includes repairs to the exterior building envelope and apparatus bay ramp. The selected firm will conduct a code analysis of the building, plumbing, fire suppression and fire alarm. The dormitory sleeping area and bathrooms will be updated to include gender-neutral accommodations, according to the Request for Qualifications issued by ISD.

The station’s flooring, plumbing, heating and electrical systems need either major upgrades or replacement; all of it is original to the building and has to comply with current codes. It’s not uncommon to see chipped floor tiles throughout the building, according to Donovan.

The Fayette Street Fire Station, built in 1965, is one of the busier stations in the city, but is relatively new compared to some of the others. Of the city’s eight stations, seven are in use. The fire houses at Fayette, Western Avenue and Broadway were built around the same time, but Fayette has more wear and tear in comparison, Donovan said.

“That building, even though it’s old, it’s not so old,” Donovan said. “This one can be rehabbed for another 50 years of life.”

In comparison, two West Lynn stations have to be replaced because they’re beyond their useful life. ISD plans to put out an RFQ to solicit firms to conduct a $105,000 feasibility study to replace the Tower Hill and Pine Hill stations, which were built in 1890 and 1917 when horses still pulled equipment, according to Donovan.

The funds for the two feasibility studies are being paid through a bond approved by the City Council last year, which included 27 capital projects.

Also included in the bond was $186,000 in funds for repairs and renovations to the fire stations on Lynnfield Street, Hollingsworth Street and Western Avenue. Donovan said the city is working with the fire department to determine necessary repairs with the intent to start the upgrades in the summer or fall.

When the studies on Fayette Street and for a new West Lynn Station are completed, it’s unclear when that work would begin, as it would depend on when funding would become available.

Once the Fayette Street study is completed and necessary work is determined, it will be added to the city’s capital improvements program, where it is expected to have high priority because of its heavy use and condition, according to Donovan.

“The fire department will be at the table when we sit with the architect and part of the process for the West Lynn feasibility,” he said.

Lynn Fire Chief Stephen Archer said the city’s fire stations are “older buildings that are in need of constant maintenance and upkeep.”

“(ISD) knew the state of the city’s buildings so none of this needed work would be a surprise to them,” Archer said. “It sounds like they’re just being diligent to make sure these buildings are up to code and (are) modernizing (them).”

 

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