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Marble Falls OKs $3M for fire station fixes

Marble Falls Fire Station No. 1

A $3 million facelift to Fire Station No. 1, 700 Avenue N in Marble Falls, is set to begin in the next 90 days. File photo

The Marble Falls City Council approved $3 million worth of renovations to the city’s fire station during its regular meeting Tuesday, Feb. 6. Plans include expanding administrative offices, redesigning living quarters, and revamping the HVAC system.

The item passed on a 5-0 vote. Mayor Dave Rhodes and Councilor Bryan Walker were absent from the meeting.

The facility at 700 Avenue N was built about 25 years ago to serve Marble Falls’ volunteer fire department. Living quarters and offices were retrofitted to accommodate the city’s switch to a full-time department in 2003.

“We have just outgrown the current design,” said Assistant City Manager Russell Sander, who was chief of Marble Falls Fire Rescue from 2016-23 before accepting his current job.

The station also has problems with its HVAC system, which has taken a beating from the extreme summer heat, Sander said.

“We can’t get it below 80 to 82 degrees,” he explained. “We’ve also got what I’d call some moisture issues with the A/C system during the summertime.”

And the floor of the living quarters needs work.

“The upstairs floor is sagging,” Sander said. “It’s been getting worse. We’re not quite sure what’s going on with that, but it does slope to one side.”

The city might replace the station’s garage doors as part of the project.

“Those are also 25 years old,” Sander said. “There’s some newer technology that we’re looking at.”

Trimbuilt Construction‘s $3 million bid was in line with cost projections from earlier in the process.

“It was not a sticker shock,” Sander said.

About $300,000 worth of that bid would go toward contingencies.

“When you’re doing a renovation like this, you’re going to have to expect that you’re going to run into some problems,” Sander said. “We’re hoping we don’t run into too many, but there is a contingency in there in case we do.”

The city anticipates work to begin in the next 90 days.

“Once it starts, it’s about an eight- or nine-month process for construction,” Sander said.

Firefighters will live in temporary quarters adjacent to the station while construction is underway.

nathan@thepicayune.com