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New fire stations in store for Lehigh Acres

August 21, 2019
By MELISSA BILL (n) , Lehigh Acres Citizen

On Aug. 12, Wright Construction Group, and members of Lehigh Acres Fire Control and Rescue District, and Design Partner BSSW Architects were on hand to celebrate the groundbreaking of Fire Station 101, at 1000 Joel Blvd., in Lehigh Acres.

Station 101 was built back in the early 1970s and marks the first of several construction projects awarded to the design build team of Wright Construction and BSSW Architects by the Lehigh Acres Fire District.

According to Fire Chief Robert DiLallo, the existing station was severely damaged by Hurricane Irma back in September 2017 and eventually condemned.

Article Photos

Wright Construction Group, and members of Lehigh Acres Fire Control and Rescue District, and Design Partner, BSSW Architects at the groundbreaking of Fire Station 101, at 1000 Joel Blvd., in Lehigh Acres.

PHOTO PROVIDED

"Following Hurricane Imra, Station 101 was deemed uninhabitable, so the district had to set up trailers adjacent to the station bay to house our fire crew and staff," DiLallo explained. "It was in need of repairs prior to the storm, but the hurricane finished it off. Among other things, it didn't meet plumbing codes, wind codes, elevation codes. Now 75 percent of the station will be new."

While the entire living quarters and old administration portion had to be demolished earlier in the month, the original apparatus bay was salvageable with major improvements.

According to Wright Construction, upgrades to the apparatus bay will include new overhead doors, elevation of the floor to meet new flood standards, new concrete drives and new exhaust louvers.

The existing administration and living quarters were recently demolished. Crews are ready for the second phase. New additions will also be built such as exterior enhancements, including an elevated new front entry and stone veneer.

"They are making fairly good progress. The next portion is site work, which has been held back due to the substantial amount of rain. They need to do a compaction test to see if it holds up prior to moving to the next step," DiLallo said.

Soil compaction testing is required and performed in order to determine the soil compaction level. The compaction tests must be performed properly or a building could settle, which can cause cracking or even catastrophic failure.

The project will be phased to first provide new administration and living quarters ready to house firemen who are currently working out of temporary quarters. Once occupied, the balance of the site and landscapmg will be completed.

Additional projects include renovations and additions to station 103.

"The permitting process was started on Station 103, which is on Gunnery. They will begin working on that station by the end of this month," DiLallo said.

Two new facilities are being planned as well; station 102 on Homestead Road and Station 106 on Sunshine Boulevard, both consisting of approximately 8,700 square feet and three apparatus bays.

"Station 102 is our oldest fire station and was already in need of replacement prior to Hurricane Irma. We already purchased the property to move the station down the street from its original location. It will be a completely new station. We are still working on a land swap deal with the property owners of a strip of preserve that we want to utilize for the new station's apparatus bay. This will allow us to line up the bay on the intersection," DiLallo explained.

As quoted in Wright Construction's press release, "These positive changes will provide Lehigh Acres residents with much needed services and a sense of safety," said Fred Edman, president of Wright Construction Group. "These projects have been a long time coming, and we look forward to witnessing the impact they will have on the community."

Wright Construction Group is located at 5811 Youngquist Road in Fort Myers. For more information on WCG, visit www.wcgfl.com.

For information on Lehigh Acres Fire Control and Rescue District visit www.lehighfd.com/

 
 

 

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