GuernseyTingle was proud to help a pivotal community partner with a well-deserved new facility.
The James City-Bruton Volunteer Fire Department has been housed in their current site since 1964. Although improvements had been made to the building over the years, it became evident that the facility was not adequate to meet current requirements.
James City County requested a new state of the art facility that would accommodate all of the equipment, provide training facilities, and be staffed by a combination of full-time county personnel and the very active volunteer department personnel. It was also critical that facilities be provided that could be used for community activities while maintaining the required operational security of the station.
GuernseyTingle’s design solution provided a two story, 22,000 square foot station, sited behind the existing station, which allowed the existing station to remain operational during the course of construction of the new facility. All site work was completed behind the new building, providing parking and access for fire and emergency vehicles, so that upon completion, the fire station operations were relocated to the new building while the old building was demolished and site work in front of the building completed.
The station design included new parking and new site entry allowing for vehicle return to the rear of the new station. It also serves as a water supply station, which provides water to local contractors, as well as a new fueling facility to allow continued support of county vehicle use at the upper end of the county. Many training features have also been incorporated into the building to allow on-site training for convenience and to reduce off-site training expenses.
The building incorporates five, double-loaded apparatus bays to house the range of equipment used by the firefighters and emergency personnel, along with spaces that allow firefighters to decontaminate themselves and their equipment when returning from a fire. Office, training, sleeping, staff kitchen, and recreational areas support day to day operations of the facility and a separate commercial kitchen supports community events in the training space and the popular semi-annual fundraising fish fry events that are held in the apparatus bay. The project has been designed to achieve LEED Silver Certification, incorporating highly efficient building envelope design, and a high efficiency VRF HVAC system with a dedicated outdoor air unit, as well as many other strategies to ensure indoor air quality, minimize water use, and drastically reduce the construction waste through recycling.
Great care was taken to design a facility that would reflect the site’s history as a center of community life; prior to housing the fire department, it had been a high school. Additionally, we sought to honor the sacrifice of the volunteer department that constructed the existing facility themselves and has served and protected the residents of the upper county for years.