Fox Farm fire station reopening soon
Great Falls Fire Rescue is nearing completion of repairs to Fire Station 4 in Fox Farm.
City Manager Greg Doyon said during the Feb. 16 City Commission meeting that GFFR is hoping to take occupancy of the building again next week and have the station back in full service the first week of March.
The Fox Farm station has been closed for about a year with crews operating largely out of Station 1 downtown while repairs were underway.
When the project started in January 2020, additional issues were discovered at the station causing delays and additional costs.
Commissioners originally awarded a $149,750 contract to Copper Creek Construction for plumbing upgrades at three of the city’s fire stations during a December 2019 meeting and repair work began Jan. 6, 2020.
But as work began, a number of additional issues were discovered, including that lateral lines needed to be replaced in addition to the main sewer lines; when relocating drains in the station kitchen, black mold was found in the sink area along with extensive water damage; a similar situation was found in the station’s bathrooms.
Both areas required mold remediation and large scale remodeling of both to meet current code requirements including the installation of ADA compliant showers, adding cost to the project.
During the Feb. 4, 2020 meeting, Doyon told commissioners that crews were digging out sewer and drain lines and replacing them with modern materials to make sure they drain properly. In some cases, they hadn’t been draining correctly and water was pooling, creating voids under the slabs, he said.
Electrical conduit had also been run through the concrete slabs and hadn’t been detected earlier on, but crews discovered it had deteriorated so running new conduit is also an additional task in the project, Doyon said in February 2020.
Due to the changes and additional issues discovered during the maintenance work, the city chose to rebid the additional items to contain costs, according to GFFR. Bids for this phase of the project were received by the city on Sept. 29 and in October, commissioner approved a $217,345 contract to WVH Enterprises to reconstruct the areas of the station affected by the sewer line replacement and meeting ADA requirements.
City Manager Greg Doyon said during the Oct. 6 commission meeting that the project has driven city officials “all a little bonkers.”
Several years ago, significant sewer and storm drain maintenance issues were identified at three of the city’s four fire stations and the Fox Farm station was determined to have the greatest repair need for Great Falls Fire Rescue.
The city was able to rectify sewer line issues at Station 1 without digging up the concrete, according to GFFR. At Station 1, crews were able to unclog and flush the sewer lines, replace a bad fitting and then poly line the pipes.
Jones said in the fall that for now, Station 3 is okay, but that doesn’t mean it can be ignored long-term.
Station 4 typically has the lowest call volume of the city’s stations, but the closure has increased response times in some case, but in other cases, it’s improved times, according to GFFR.
The first phase of the project included replacing all of the remaining lateral sewer lines to restore functionality for under floor sewer drains and demolition of the bathroom/locker room. That phase was completed this summer.
Falls Mechanical and Cushing Terrell were contracted for the design phase of the project.
WVH Enterprises submitted the only bid for the project, according to the city.