The Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department moved out of Fire Station No. 3 on Santa Rita Road this Monday, relocating to a temporary facility blocks away for most of this year while the old station is torn down and rebuilt.
The station property at 3200 Santa Rita Road, at the northeast corner of West Las Positas Boulevard, will be significantly overhauled, with major exterior changes in addition to interior and operational upgrades from the building redesign.
"The existing building has reached the end of its service life, requiring its replacement for a multitude of reasons, including seismic issues and needed underground repairs," LPFD deputy fire chief Joe Testa said in a statement.
Another problem, according to Pleasanton city staff, was that the nearly 50-year-old station had an open dorm/bunk area and bathroom facilities, rendering it infeasible for firefighters of both genders to work out of the building.
The old building had an intriguing history in Pleasanton, according to Testa. Built as a fire station in 1973, it didn't actually house the Pleasanton Fire Department (pre-merger) until the city and department grew to a point it could be staffed.
"Initially it was used as a community center. Those who have been around Pleasanton for a while may remember it as a preschool or a place where movies were shown to the community," Testa said. "For well over 40 years though, it has served as Fire Station 3."
He added, "A bell that was used to summon Pleasanton's volunteer firefighters from the late 1800s used to be kept in front of Station 3 until it was restored by the city of Pleasanton and moved indoors at the station for display a few years ago. This bell as well, as a few other antique items, have been incorporated in the design of the new building and will be on display to the community for years to come."
Key changes arriving in the new, two-story building include revamped apparatus bays, living quarters and other interior improvements, along with a contemporary exterior architectural design, an outdoor patio and new perimeter landscaping. Plans also called for the two existing driveways on the Santa Rita Road side to be consolidated into one wider driveway while the driveway on West Las Positas Boulevard will remain in the same location.
One of five LPFD stations in Pleasanton, Fire Station No. 3 is owned and maintained by the city of Pleasanton -- just like the stations in Livermore are owned by that city. The station rebuild was identified as a priority by the Pleasanton City Council, and the construction contract was awarded to Oakland-based Mar Con Builders, Inc., in August.
The estimated pricetag is just under $9.2 million, which includes design and construction of the new building, plus funding the temporary station among other costs. Construction is expected to last about 10 months.
"It was critical that the project maintain continuity of fire service to the community while the city rebuilds Fire Station 3 to meet the operational needs of a modern day fire department. I anticipate construction to be completed by the end of year." Steve Kirkpatrick, the city's director of engineering, told the Weekly.
LPFD has established a temporary fire station several blocks away at the corner of Stoneridge and Rheem drives that will be staffed throughout the construction phase.