OCEAN CITY – The new Fire Station 4 uptown is beginning to take shape, and while the inclement weather has held up the project, the contractor aims to finish on time.
Fire Station 4 located on 130th Street was selected by the Ocean City Fire Department (OCFD) as a top priority for expansion. The idea to renovate versus a rebuild was investigated but the cost for renovation was not effective.
The station was constructed 40 years ago and had little updates along the way. Over 10 years ago, the Town of Ocean City and the Volunteer Fire Company commissioned a study, Station Site Location Study, that predicted the need for an increased presence in the highly built up northern end of town, and concluded improving service in the area is vital to the coverage size, high‐rise buildings, elderly population and recurring traffic congestion.
In 2012, Fire Station 4 came before the Mayor and City Council and plans were approved to move forward with the final design and preparation of construction documents at that time.
Fire Station 4 was included in the 2012 bond issuance when obtaining federal stimulus funds became unsuccessful. The preliminary design and architect selection for the project started back in 2009.
In August 2013, the Mayor and City Council approved the apparent low bidder of Gillis Gilkerson in the amount of $2,692,018 to construct the new fire station. The total building budget is $3.5 million that is funded by the 2012 bond issue.
The council also approved the Recreation and Parks storage unit on the backside of Jamaica Ave. to serve as a temporary facility for Fire Station 4 during construction. The site is just 400 yards from the existing fire station. Staff and equipment have been utilizing that facility.
The new state-of-the-art facility will be larger with an increase from two engine bays to three, an exercise room, decontamination room and an increase in living space for duty crews as well as an addition of a live-in area on the second floor as a way to encourage volunteers by providing housing.
In October 2013, Fire Station 4 was demolished, the site was cleared and foundation work began. The project has 200 calendar days to be completed and is estimated to be finished in May in time for summer.
City Engineer Terry McGean this week ran down the check list on what has been completed so far and the next steps.
“All the foundation work is done, all the ground utility rough-in is done, they are currently building the steel frame and the concrete block walls are going up now,” he said. “Next is the frame of the engine bay and steel siding, and block walls and steel framing in the living area. Basically finishing the constructional work and then they will move onto the interior work.”
The project lost about 10 days of construction last month due to inclement weather, according to McGean.
“This weather has not been helping us but they are hoping they can make it up,” McGean said.