Maywood Fire Department Station No. 1 after renovations. Below, a picture of the fire station before exterior renovations. | Submitted photos; above photo courtesy Chief Craig Bronaugh.
Saturday, January 16, 2016 || By Nicholas Samuel
Bricklaying, four new air conditioning units, new roofing and electrical upgrades are just a few of the renovations recently made to the Maywood Fire Department Fire Station No. 1, 700 St. Charles Road.
Construction for these $1.2 million renovations started last July and is expected to be finished this Spring, according to Maywood Fire Chief Craig Bronaugh.
“Our facilities and equipment along with our manpower is significant in our ability to function and deliver services as efficiently and quickly as possible,” said Bronaugh. “Without these functional facilities and equipment, we wouldn’t be able to do our job.”
After an extensive study, key areas within the facility in need of improvement were identified. Funds for this project came from the St. Charles TIF fund.
“A new firehouse would’ve cost $15 million roughly. We came up with a plan to restore the existing station for a budgeted $1.5 million; we went under the budget at $1.2 million,” said Captain Denard Wade.
“It’s good money spent by the village. We pride ourselves in maintaining our equipment; our day in and day out duty is to maintain what we have at appropriate standards.”
Bronaugh said the Fire Station No. 1 building was built in the 1980’s and has endured wear and tear throughout the years.
“My biggest fear was that this project would end and we would still have these issues later. That’s why we took our time; the objective is to get this right the first time,” Bronaugh said. “We want to be able to say this will be good for 30 more years and we’re not going to have to worry about it until then.”
A major part of the renovations was converting the outside of the building from all wood to brick, according to Bronaugh.
Wade said the brick is much more durable to weather conditions, secures the structural integrity of the building and preserves its structural components.
“We did brick vs. wood because every few years you’ll have to treat the wood for weathering to prevent it from decaying from moisture and rot,” Wade said. “For brick, maintenance is non-existent. We only have to address maintenance for tuckpointing the motor in between the bricks every 15 years.”
Other renovations to the Maywood Fire Department include eight new overhead doors, air quality upgrades, kitchen upgrades, a hot water heater, three new furnaces, a new radio communication line and new gutters.
“When you look at air quality, our first responders have to have reasonable conditions of living because we live there,” Wade said.
The kitchen upgrades include new overhead cabinets, a new fridge and a new countertop.
Bronaugh said the renovations have received great reviews and that the department plans to make upgrades to the emergency generator and sewer line in the future.
“We need to be able to function. Dealing with these issues takes away from our services to provide to the people,” he said. VFP
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