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Cost of Retrofitting Fire Station Rises After "Unforeseen Conditions" Found


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Editor's note: This story was edited at 10:30 a.m. Friday to change the location of the fire station from the Wilmont neighborhood to the Mid-City neighborhood.

September 12, 2018 -- The cost of retrofitting the fire station in Santa Monica's Mid City neighborhood has risen after construction crews found asbestos, mold and termite damage.

On Tuesday the City Council increased the $1.067 million contract with Hoffman Management & Construction Corporation (HMCC) by $275,000 to address "the unforeseen conditions" at Station 3 at 1302 19th Street.

"HMCC discovered asbestos material and mold within the walls of the building," staff wrote in their report. "In addition, various structural wooden columns and beams had deteriorated due to termite infestation.

"The original contract authority did not account for this additional work," staff said.

Built in the early 1970s, the two-story, wood frame and stucco structure was originally constructed as a temporary facility that do not meet current seismic codes, staff said.

"In the event of a large earthquake, the structure could sustain severe damage and consequently emergency services to the community could be negatively impacted," staff wrote in their report to the Council in February 2017.

The retrofitting work includes installing new shear walls and steel column and beam moment frames, staff said.

The project also includes American Disabilities Act (ADA) upgrades to bring the building up to code for publicly-accessible areas that include a new main entry and access ramp.

Officers’ quarters and public restrooms on the ground floor also will be upgraded to meet ADA standards.

Under the adjusted contract, work crews will remove mold and asbestos, replace the structural wooden members damaged by termites and do other "miscellaneous work."

The work is not expected to delay the project, which should be completed by February, staff said.

Fire Station No. 3 houses two engine companies, Engine 3 and Engine 4, which are comprised of fire personnel.

During construction, Engine 3 has remained on site, while Engine 4 has been temporarily relocated to the newly constructed Fire Training Center trailers at the City Yards, staff said.


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