Delays push back fire station’s completion

Veronica Morley, Reporter

Since June 2013, Fire Station 8, located south of BC on the corner of Mt. Vernon Avenue and University Avenue, has been under renovation. The project was expected to be completed in May, but due to several delays, the date has been pushed back to the end of October.

Staff from the Fire and Public Works Department evaluated the fire station, also known as FS 8, in 2012 and concluded that due to ongoing issues with the electrical, plumbing, roofing, heating and air conditioning systems, the entire station was in need of significant upgrades.

Built in 1949, the station remodel will include: gutting the existing building, reconstructing the interior of the living quarters and bay areas, replacing the roof, and installing an emergency generator.

Unforeseen delays have caused the estimated completion date to be pushed back to the end of October. Navdip S. Grewal of the Bakersfield Public Works Department stated that these delays included such things as roofing and electrical issues.

“The hard part about construction is you assume everything is fine,” said Grewal. “We set a date thinking everything would go as planned but, for example, when we opened the walls they were a lot worse than we had anticipated.”

Grewal also mentioned issues involving the roofing process, electrical contracts, window orders and driveway changes.

“Our client is the Fire Station and we want to make sure the remodel meets their needs,” he stated.

The original estimated budget for this project was approximately $1,829,000. Grewal states that a subset of that budget was set aside specifically for delays such as these. Current unanticipated expenses include housing and equipment rent for the related FS 8. Currently the staff is residing at a new location on 4400 Panorama Drive.

“We’ve managed to remain within our original budget and we’re hoping to be finished by the end of October,” said Grewal.

The Fire and Public Works Department is working with Klassen Corporation to complete construction. FS 8 will remain relocated until construction completion.