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Station Design Conference: Transitioning to a New Fire Station

Categories: Events, Insight

CR Booth setup at Station Design Conference 2019
Presentation of

We just recently finished up at the 2019 Station Design Conference in Rosemont, Illinois! The Station Design Conference is an annual event attended by the nation’s leading public safety design firms, as well as fire and police departments from all over the country.

At this year’s conference, we were pleased to have the opportunity to speak on an extremely important topic: Transitioning Spaces from an Old to a New Facility. This issue is particularly challenging as every station relocation project is dependent on the opportunities granted or restrictions placed upon the department, including site-specific limitations.

With no single solution to this issue, we discussed a few of the common scenarios encountered when relocating from an existing facility to a new station and challenged the audience to consider their unique needs throughout the process. We focused on three likely scenarios and the elements that a department should consider with each:

1. Building your new station on an entirely new site.

  • If the community that will be served by the new site differs from that of the existing site, consider new training components that need to be identified.
  • If you are able to repurpose your existing site, consider the benefits of creating a substation or dedicated training location.

2. Building your new station on your existing site while your existing station remains operational.

  • During the construction of your new station, be aware of site logistics and construction access that could affect your ability to operate out of your existing station.
  • Consider incorporating any functional portions of the existing station into the new station’s design.

3. Demolishing your existing station to build your new station.

  • Consider temporarily consolidating services with an existing station within the department or a shared public facility, if available.
  • If the existing station needs to remain occupied in a limited capacity, consider phasing the demolition and new construction.
  • To ensure the department remains fully functional, temporary structures can be utilized and later repurposed.

By exploring these scenarios, we were able to discuss the challenges and opportunities often encountered when transitioning from an existing facility to a new station. Ultimately, there is no set-in-stone standard when it comes to successfully navigating this challenge. To identify the proper solution for each department, the project team must be driven by the nature of the relocation and the needs of the department.

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