Work has begun on two Spokane Valley fire stations to complete upgrades and renovations. While response times may be affected, the department hopes that with help from other stations, those delays could be minimal.
The University and Otis Orchards fire stations, built in 1976 and 1984, respectively, are getting updated sleeping quarters and bathroom facilities to accommodate crews of both genders.
Deputy Chief of Support Systems Larry Rider said the University Fire Station, at 10319 E. Sprague Ave., has been gutted to accommodate the work. The station will get an upgraded fire sprinkler system, emergency lighting with a generator backup and other improvements, including dropping the floor of the garage by a foot in order to fit the station’s trucks.
During much of the construction at University, firefighters will be stationed at the South Valley Station, 12121 E. 32nd Ave.
“There was no way to keep them living in the quarters while (construction workers) do the work,” Rider said.
The work at the Otis Orchards station, 22406 E. Wellesley Ave., is similar, but less extensive, and includes an addition to its building. In a few weeks when workers shut off the water, firefighters will be housed at Liberty Lake Station, 2218 N. Harvard Road.
“They can’t be there without water,” Rider said.
The $1.37 million project is being paid for through fire department reserve funds.
Construction started about six weeks ago, and Rider hopes the work will be done by Nov. 1.