A major expansion and remodeling upgrade for the Mendota Heights Fire Department is moving past the planning stages and CNH Architects is providing its expertise for the overall design and construction of this long-term solution.
“This project is particularly challenging as the addition and remodeling needed to be designed to be easily phased, allowing firefighter operations to continue throughout the construction,” said Quinn Hutson, a principal and architect with CNH. “Our design provides this flexibility while still providing a very functional layout that will fully support the fire department’s operations for decades to come.”
The better organized and more complete station is designed to improve firefighter operations, response times, safety, training, and health, according to CNH Architects.
The planned 14,743 square feet of addition and 12,397 square feet of remodeling includes three areas of building addition and remodeling throughout the existing structure. A large addition to the north and west of the current station will contain a new apparatus bay with mezzanine area, tower stair, administrative offices, classroom, day-room, dining, kitchen, dorm and restrooms, laundry and a locker room.
Mendota Heights is a paid-on-call department serving its community, and the communities of Lilydale, Mendota and Sunfish Lake. It has an overall staff of 36, with 29 firefighters.
A smaller addition at the southwest corner of the current building will feature two garage bays for HealthEast ambulance services. Another addition to the southeast corner will display the original Mendota Heights fire truck and a history of the department. Additionally, the existing building will be significantly remodeled in the spaces adjacent to the current apparatus bays.
These areas will contain the support functions for the apparatus bays consisting of firefighter turnout gear, dispatch and storage areas, as well as decontamination areas such as gear wash/decon, decon showers, and self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA). These are grouped together and separated from the apparatus bays to help with overall firefighter health and to reduce carcinogen exposure. It will also house the HealthEast dayroom, kitchen and restrooms in a self-contained area with separate access.
Changes on the lot will move the main firefighter parking stalls closer to the building along the south wall. This provides quicker access for firefighter response. Additional parking stalls are being added along the west edge of the property for more firefighter parking. New stalls are also slated for the north edge of the new addition to serve administrative staff and the public.
The completed station will also address the building’s current maintenance needs.