Parkhill, City of Abilene Break Ground on Fire Station 4

Category: Architecture

Written By: Travis Cram

Date: November 30, 2016

Parkhill, City of Abilene Break Ground on Fire Station 4 cover image

The City of Abilene and Parkhill broke ground Tuesday on the future site for Abilene Fire Station No. 4. 

A new prototype design for the City of Abilene, Fire Station No. 4 is the first of three new fire stations designed by Parkhill as part of the 2015 bond passed by Abilene voters. This building replaces a facility nearly demolished by a hail storm in June 2014. The station will initially house a single engine company in 8,500 square feet, serving Abilene north of I-20. 

“Working through the design process with first responders is always exciting, but this was even more special as many of them only go through this process once in a lifetime,” said Bill Noonan, a Principal and Studio Leader of municipal and state projects in Parkhill’s Community Practice. “This engine company at Station 4 have been living in a mobile home for two years and they were more than excited to be selected to have their station replaced first as part of the bond program. They sat through numerous design meetings, giving valuable input to our design team, which ultimately makes this station work to meet their needs and be something they will be proud of for years to come.” 

Features include three drive-thru apparatus bays with four-fold exit doors, promoting faster response times. It has six dorm rooms, a large multipurpose space with an open concept to the kitchen and dining areas, and an exercise space with access directly to the exterior of the building. Typical building support spaces are also included. The station is designed to allow an ambulance company to be added without expanding the facility, but as future needs arise, it can be expanded with an addition to accommodate up to 10 dorm rooms and two additional restrooms/showers with minimal impact to the site plan. The station is also positioned such that additional apparatus bays can be installed as necessary. 

The station is designed for efficiency and response time, with two means of direct access to the apparatus bay from within the building.  In addition, the station utilizes sustainable and energy-efficient building materials, such as a highly reflective TPO roof membrane, polished concrete floors, xeriscaping, VRFS heating/cooling system, and LED lighting throughout. 

“The last substation was built in the ‘80s, so many, if not all of the department’s current staff, are totally new to the design process,” Noonan said. “In addition, a new Fire Chief was appointed right before our design process started. Knowing the right questions to ask and seeing them gain confidence in our abilities to create a facility that ultimately allows them to respond to the community is rewarding.” 

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