Brick by brick ? Fire hall is now taking shape

Brick by brick ? Fire hall is now taking shape A masonry worker puts the finishing touches on a freshly poured concrete floor of a bay in the new William J. Radigan Fire/EMS Station. Poor weather conditions this winter created hampered construction efforts. Workers are scrambling at the building site to make up for lost time on the job now that warm weather has finally arrived. by David Lias The site of the city's new William J. Radigan Fire/EMS Station, on the corner of Duke and Dakota streets, is a beehive of activity these days.

Construction workers who were hampered by a long, cold winter are making up for lost time now that spring has arrived.

Nearly every contractor involved in the construction of the $1.2 million building is working at a fever pitch.

But it's likely that with even their best efforts, they won't be able to meet construction deadlines.

"The targeted completion date was June 1," said Vermillion Fire Chief Doug Brunick. "I'm going to assume that the building will be constructed sometime after June 1."

While masonry workers were smoothing a freshly-poured concrete floor in the vehicle bay area of the station, roofers were busy atop�the building.

The crew from the project's general contractor, Tellinghuisen, Inc. is on hand. Plumbers, electricians are busy installing copper pipe and electrical wire, while other workers are putting the building air conditioning and heating system in place.

"Now that the weather has straightened out, the crews have come in," Brunick said. "The weather has kept them behind schedule, and they have a lot of make-up work to do." Tellinghuisen's low bid for the building project totaled approximately $1,204,000.

The project is being funded by $1 million in city second penny sales tax revenue.

Vermillion is also the recipient of a $125,000 Community Development Block Grant by the Governor's Office of Economic Development in Pierre.

These funds will be used to complete the project's exterior work at a later date, including the building's south parking lot, northwest parking lot, flag pole and base, truck apron and EMT parking, all sidewalk, and curb cuts and entrance drives at other parking areas.

The building's two storage rooms, kitchen and two sleeping rooms are beginning to take shape. So are the structure's two offices, rest rooms and a conference room.

The Vermillion Fire Department's six fire trucks and three ambulances will be housed in the building's bay area and will face east toward Dakota Street so they can quickly respond to an emergency.

"We will also have work stations including an air compressor that will allow us to fill our self-contained breathing apparatuses," Brunick said.

The building will have a communications room where the fire and ambulance departments will keep their portable radio. It will also house a small television and DTN computer to allow emergency workers to monitor severe weather, the fire chief said.

An area behind the fire trucks and ambulances will be reserved for storage racks that will house the department's bunker gear and other protective clothing.

"We have been having monthly progress meeting with the general contractor," Brunick said. "Our next meeting is scheduled for May 7, and as the building gets closer to completion, we will meet more often."

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