The Golden Fire Department has been operating out of the same building since 1974, and fire chief Dave Balding says it is feeling smaller every year.
As the size of apparatuses grow, and the amount of equipment the fire hall obtains for answering different calls of services increases, the available space for storage and use has decreased drastically.
On March 20, Town of Golden council awarded a construction contract to Olson Projects Ltd. for the construction of stairs and a storage mezzanine in the fire hall for a total cost of $17,255.
The staircase was constructed in place of a storage closet that once stood halfway down the hall. The staircase leads up to an attic-like space that isn’t quite standing height, but stores a lot of extra equipment and historic memorabilia like the original fire hall bell. The existing space has been added to with a mezzanine that extend out past the original doorway to the storage room.
Before enjoying the luxury of stairs, firefighters who needed to access the extra storage would have to get a ladder and climb up to the doors, or access the precarious entrance from the side of one of the fire trucks.
“I can’t believe that we’ve done that since 1974,” Balding said, adding that access was very important in the construction plans because of what is stored up there. “Some of it is operational, some of it is heritage.”
Construction of the additional storage space was identified in the Town of Golden 2018 capital budget. After the construction began, there were a few changes that needed to be made to the original plan, including installing a metal railing to allow more light into the mezzanine area, which would make for a more prominent display of the historic brass bell from the original Golden Fire Engine Association building, which was constructed in 1898.
“That’s a huge piece of our history that will be proudly displayed,” Balding said.
The adopted 2018 capital budget included the approved total budget of $24,000 for the project, which is funded by the Building and Facilities Capital Reserve. The total includes a risk contingency of $4,000, and the original contract was awarded at $17,255.
The fire chief submitted a staff report to the Town of Golden requesting an additional $6,000 for the installation of the railing type and to complete recommended plumbing modifications. The increase would bring the total approved capital expenditure to $30,000.
Town of Golden CAO Jon Wilsgard commented on the staff report. “There are clear benefits to the additional work contemplated,” he stated.
Construction of the mezzanine is already underway, and is solely funded by the Town of Golden as a capital project that was identified last year, Balding explained.
“It’s allowing us to squeeze every bit of efficiency out of this building,” he said.
Once the construction project is completed, the fire department hopes that will free up some storage space for historical memorabilia and fire fighting equipment. Next, they might look at how to clear up more space in the garage where the trucks are parked.