When the bay doors finally open on Dec. 10, it will end two years of waiting and wondering about the fate of Fire Station 27.
Located on the corner of Douglas Avenue and Northwest Highway, the 23,000-square-foot, three-story station was originally scheduled to open in 2013.
In June, the Dallas public works department sent a letter to District 13 council member Jennifer Gates, explaining the reasons for the delay.
reasons for the delay
The June 2 memo sent to councilwoman Gates listed the following reasons for delay:
- Removal of existing buried communication cable
- Water main break on Douglas Avenue, which flooded the station’s below-grade parking
- Modifications of kitchen equipment and installation of a gas line
- Requested installation of a gas line to connect alternate dryers
- Requested installation of a gas line to patio for grill
- Coordination of the fire-alarm monitoring with the city’s monitoring service provider
- Changes to the aluminum etched graphic panels
- Rejected samples of red coating on aluminum etched building panels
- Delay in green tags and final certificate of occupancy, due to inspector changes to building’s gas service and electrical equipment room changes
- Weather-related delays
“I know some of them were within our control,” said Gates, “but some of them were outside our control due to the weather.”
According to Gates, challenges came from the fact that the station was constructed on the site of the original fire station, along with the use of materials that would have put the project over budget.
“Specifically the challenges that arose were because we didn’t have a staging area,” Gates said. “Originally, everyone looked at moving, but acquiring land is expensive and [the project] got a lot of feedback from neighbors not to move.”
The station, which was funded by the city’s 2006 bond program, will cost $8.1 million, about $200,000 less than originally budgeted.
Jason Evans, spokesman for Dallas Fire-Rescue, said while the station was out of commission, “There are a multitude of fire stations within (and out of) the district that have assumed the responsibility of assisting with emergency response.”
Because of its proximity to University Park, the station, while not the first responders, will be able to help with emergency calls from the area.
Once opened, Fire Station 27 will initially house four first responders and one fire engine. Due to its size, the station is large enough to add equipment and personnel as needed, said Evans.
Gates feels the project has been a teaching moment for future undertakings.
“It made me question the project management process,” Gates said. “I’m thrilled we’re finally going to open the station, but I’m ready to put it behind us.”