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Santa Monica to Replace Aging Fire Department Training Center

Santa Monica Real Estate Company, Roque and Mark

Pacific Park, Santa Monica Pier

Harding Larmore Kutcher & Kozal, LLP  law firm
Harding, Larmore
Kutcher & Kozal, LLP

Convention and Visitors Bureau Santa Monica

By Niki Cervantes
Staff Writer

February 24, 2016 -- City of Santa Monica officials are burned out on the aging temporary trailers used to help train local firefighters.

The more than 30-year-old trailers just aren’t holding up -- in part due structural damage from being on a landfill, as well as the wear-and-tear from daily use as a training ground for Santa Monica firefighters and their brethren from other local fire departments, a City report says.

Martin Pastucha, the City director of public works, recommends the center in the City Yards be replaced by two new single-wide modular buildings, to serve as offices and training props storage, and one triple-wide modular building, for a training center.

City staff recommends that a $694,857 contract for the work to be awarded to California-based Atlas Performance Industries, Inc. It was to be approved by the City Council on Tuesday.

According to the staff report, the new triple-wide modular building initially would be used as a temporary fire quarters while Fire Station 3 undergoes seismic upgrades.

“This temporary fire station would house four fire fighters that provide equivalent service as the permanent Fire Station 3,” the report said. “The ladder truck associated with this battalion would be located immediately adjacent to the triple-wide modular building. The new triple-wide modular would be converted to the Training Center after the Fire Station 3 seismic retrofit is complete.”

It notes that the station is a two-story, wood frame and stucco building from the 1970s and does not meet current safety building codes for either the state or City.

The Council approved the overall project several years ago, giving financing the green light in 2013 along with a similar move for a new Fire Station 1.

In all, the City’s new “state of the art” training center will also include two single modular buildings bought to store training props. Later, the buildings would be converted into permanent offices in the training yard.

Site work for the temporary station and office and storage buildings is to begin in May and installation of the modular buildings is set for June.

Meanwhile, Fire Station 3’s seismic retrofit starts this September, with construction expected to last nine months, the report said.

It also said all construction will meet requirements for the disabled, including providing ramps to the buildings.

Although the City cast a wide net for vendors, with 2,117 of them notified of the project, only two bids were actually received and publicly opened, the report noted. The one not selected was for more than $1 million.

The report said the winning vendor, Atlas Performance Industries, has provided modular buildings to other municipalities and public agencies such as Caltrans and Santa Clara Valley Water District. The Caltrans project was a custom building and much like Santa Monica’s project.

Funds are coming from the city’s capital improvement budget.

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