The Arlington County Board today approved a $16.1 million construction contract and a concept design for a new, energy-efficient, four-bay station to replace the obsolete Fire Station No. 8 at 4845 Lee Highway. The new fire station will better serve the community while honoring Fire Station No. 8’s long history.
“This new Fire Station No. 8 will be so much more than just a fire station for our community,” Arlington County Board Chair Christian Dorsey said. “This fire station’s journey reflects our community’s journey. The Fire Station began more than 100 years ago with the Hall’s Hill Volunteer Fire Department that protected the residents of the Hall’s Hill community, and for decades during segregation was the only Arlington station staffed by African Americans. The new station’s design honors that history and moves Fire Station No. 8 into the 21st century, rebuilding it on-site into a modern, energy efficient station that will be equipped with safety features for its fire and EMS personnel and will provide high-quality service to Arlingtonians for decades to come.”
The Board voted unanimously to endorse the concept design for the new fire station and to approve the award of contract to MCN Build, Inc. to provide Construction Management at Risk Services for pre-construction and construction services for on-site temporary and replacement facilities. To read the staff report, visit the County website. Scroll to Item No. 44 on the agenda for the Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019 Recessed County Board Meeting.
The Construction Management at Risk contract guarantees that the project will be delivered for a maximum price of $14 million, enabling the County to better control project delivery by allowing early and continuous builder input on costs, schedule, value and quality. (The contract includes a County-held contingency of $2.1 million, which is contained in the hard cost estimate.) Construction is expected to begin in Fall 2020 and the new fire station is expected to open in Fall 2022.
The old single-story, two-bay Fire Station No. 8, built more than a half-century ago, will be replaced with a three-story building that will include four apparatus bays, gender-neutral staff accommodations, enough space to incorporate best practices for fire fighter health and safety, a new fuel island and 12 staff parking places.
Honoring Fire Station No. 8’s history
The new facility will incorporate design elements representing Station No. 8’s celebrated history. Features may include small-scale monuments; artifact display cases; historic maps imbedded into the facade, seating walls and symbolic lighting.
The overall station design will be finalized, with input from the Public Facilities Review Committee and the public before the end of the year. Decisions related to thedesign’s historical elements will follow public discussions in the first months of 2020.
The building will include sustainable materials and systems and achieve a minimum of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Building Design + Construction Silver Certification. LEED is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. A Net Zero building feasibility study by the County’s designer will be completed by the end of 2019 and costs and schedule impacts for incorporating Net Zero into the design will be brought to the County Board for consideration before construction begins. Net Zero buildings generate 100 percent of their energy needs on-site.
The County began discussing the future of Fire Station No. 8 with the community in 2015. A task force appointed by the County Board in 2016 recommended that the station remain at its current location. Later that year and in January 2017, the County Board approved the acquisition of three residential lots adjacent to the fire station to enlarge the site and provide enough space for a temporary fire station during construction of the new station. In winter/spring 2018 the Manager appointed a History and Legacy Working Group to recommend ways to recognize, emphasize and honor the history and legacy of the Hall’s Hill/High View Park Volunteer Fire Department and Fire Station No. 8. Three Public Facilities Review Committee meetings, a community meeting and an online survey have been held since May 2019 to review the design of the new building.
The total project budget is $25.04 million, an increase of $4 million over the $21.04 approved by the Board in the adopted FY 2019-2028 Capital Improvement Plan. The increase will pay for additional square footage needed to accommodate increased staffing, larger spaces for decontamination storage and equipment and common spaces. Funding for the budget increase will come from a 2019 unallocated bond premium.
The new budget includes $16.2 million in hard construction costs (which includes the County-held contingency of $2.1 for the CMAR contract); $1.16 million for furniture, fixtures and equipment; $3.3 million for soft costs; $2.51 million for land acquisition and $1.93 million for overall project contingency. The project is being funded through voter-approved General Obligation bonds and PAYGO funding.
To read the Board report, visit the County website. Scroll to Item No. 44 on the Agenda for the Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019 Recessed County Board Meeting.