South City fire station will undergo $2M renovation 

One of South San Francisco’s fire stations will see a much-needed $2 million upgrade this summer to provide separate living quarters and seismic improvements to a building that hasn’t been rehabilitated since the 1970s.

Fire Chief Philip White said many of the improvements will address living quarters, changing rooms and dorms that were not an issue in the 1970s.

“There are many genders on the force now,” he said. “Back in the old days, you had one shower room and one dorm; now we need segregated bathrooms and sometimes you need to get dressed in the middle of the night — we want to give men and women more privacy.”

That privacy will come in the form of individual rooms, White said, for sleeping quarters and separate bathroom and shower areas.

White also said more computers and workstations will be added to Fire Station 63, purchased by the city in 1976 to house the Fire Department, Police Department and City Hall.

Work is expected to begin during late summer, White said. The $1.81 million improvements will be funded through part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that was approved in 2009. This portion of the act was to improve or rehabilitate existing stations.

According to city documents, the improvements will take roughly four months.

White said Station 63 is one of five in South City. It was the last on the list for improvements because the department had anticipated moving to the West Orange Library building.

But when the bond for the library failed — the Police Department was expecting to take over the old West Orange Library after it moved to a new location — the Fire Department needed to come up with a new plan to maintain its own facility.

“It was actually Plan D,” White said. “We didn’t think the bond would fail. When it did, we had to shutter our plans to relocate.”

During construction, White said, the seven people at Station 63 will be temporarily moved to other stations throughout the city.

Station 63’s coverage area will also be divided amongst the other four stations to maintain response during emergencies.

“We want to minimize the impact to citizens, so we will set up temporary zones,” he said. “We just don’t have the room to put a construction trailer and a fire engine there.”

Fire Station 63

South San Francisco is upgrading one of its fire stations this summer.

$1.81 million: Cost of upgrades, paid for by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
7: People who work at the station
1976: Year facility was purchased to house Fire Department, Police Department and City Hall
5: Fire stations in South San Francisco

akoskey@sfexaminer.com

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