Violet Township Fire Station 592 renovation project to start in January

Nate Ellis
ThisWeek group
Violet Township Fire Chief Mike Little is seen here in the grassy lot that will become a parking area as part of the $2 million project to renovate Fire Station 592, 8700 Refugee Road. The station was built in 1996, and the renovations are expected to begin in January.

After several years of planning, the Violet Township Fire Department is set to move forward with $2 million worth of renovations to Fire Station 592 at 8700 Refugee Road.  

Built in 1996 and put into service in 1997, the station serves as the department’s administrative headquarters.   

Renovations are expected to start in January and will include the installation of a new heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system, as well as the replacement of the roof. The work is expected to take about six months.  

“The building is nearly 25 years old,” Chief Mike Little said. “Over the course of time, as with any building, you have wear and tear.”  

Little said the new HVAC system will allow for better climate control of each sector of the firehouse. The roof work will be the first full replacement since the building was constructed, he said.  

“We have areas of the roof we’ve piecemealed over the years where we have leaks and areas rotting,” Little said.  

The project also will include adding garage space.  

Upgrades to the kitchen are among the $2 million worth of renovations to Fire Station 592 at 8700 Refugee Road.

“We have vehicles we use on a daily basis that currently sit outside,” Little said. “Bringing them inside helps us prolong the lives and use of the vehicles. It also allows for those vehicles to be used at a moment’s notice. We won’t have to be scraping frost or sweeping snow off the vehicles.”  

In addition to some “minor interior renovations” to the station’s kitchen and bunk room, the project will include resurfacing a grass lot just to the west of the station. That land is owned by the township and will be converted into a paved parking lot, which will be necessary because the garage addition will eliminate six to eight parking spaces.  

Funding for the work will come from money the department has saved over recent years from its fire levy, which annually generates about $11 million for operations.  

“Over the past years, we have put money from our operating budget into our capital fund, knowing that we were going to have to do this work to Station 592,” Little said. “The money all comes from the fire levy to support the fire department.  

“Through strict budgeting principles, we’ve been able to put this money back."  

Violet Township Trustee Darrin Monhollen said the project is the result of long-term planning and the VTFD conducting itself in “a very fiscally responsible way.”  

“Our firefighters will call this facility home for roughly one-third of their professional lives,” Monhollen said. “We are encouraged that we can make the needed repairs without going back to the taxpayers to do so.  

“I feel (the project) is appropriate and a testament to the fact that VTFD takes fiscal responsibility very seriously that we are able to make these necessary upgrades without taking on additional debt.”   

Heath-based Robertson Construction Services Inc. will serve as the general contractor. Bids for subcontracts for specific portions of the work are being solicited this month.  

Once work begins, Little said, the department may have to temporarily relocate some equipment and manpower to its other two facilities, Fire Station 591, 21 Lockville Road, and Station 593, 2365 Taylor Park Drive. 

However, he said, Station 592 will remain open throughout the renovations and the community will not see a change in services.  

The planned work at Station 592 comes after a $6-million, 15,000-square-foot Fire Station 591 was opened in May 2018.  

nellis@thisweeknews.com

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