EAST LANSING, Mich. — East Lansing's Central Fire Station #1 will soon be getting almost $1 million worth of renovations.
The fire station has been in the community for years and hasn't gotten many upgrades since it opened.
“Fire Station #1 is the primary station for the majority of the full-time residents in the city of East Lansing. It was constructed around 1975, somewhere in the mid 1970s," said Wendy Wilmers Longpre, assistant director of the city's Parks, Recreation and Arts department. “We haven't done any real major upgrades to it since that time. It definitely is in need of some improvement.”
Longpre said renovations on the station has been talked about for years.
“We have had these improvements listed in the city's capital improvement program for a number of years now, and we just haven't had a funding source available,” she said.
Thanks to funds from the American Rescue Plan Act, they can finally get the much needed upgrades.
“Our contract is with Gordon Construction Services, and the contract is for just under a $1 million," Longpre said. "So we're getting a lot of work done out of what was slated as identified as being needed.”
Longpre said there will be a lot of visual upgrades to modernize the station.
“We're looking at completely new flooring, new wall paint, new ceilings, completely new lighting will replace all the lighting fixtures with more energy efficiency, energy efficient fixtures, as well as fixtures that just generate a little bit more light," Longpre said. "That includes the lights in the truck bay, the high truck bay.”
One of the most exciting visual products is the kitchen that will be completely redone.
“I know that the firefighters are also excited to get some renovations done for the kitchen," Longpre said. "While they are here working, they eat and sleep and there's a locker room as well.”
There will also be upgrades to the heating and cooling system and a new generator.
Longpre said a big benefit to this project is upgrading the station to be more environmentally friendly.
“We also want to ensure that we are operating our facilities in an environmentally friendly and conscientious way as possible, and so we're looking at improvements that will increase energy efficiency for both how we heat the building and how we cool it, as well as lighting and use of electricity, all those sorts of things,” she said.
Longpre said the city wants to ensure the employees stay safe in a healthy work environment.
“With COVID-19 and all of the changes and challenges, that has presented improvements in our public safety sector to keep our employees safe as well," Longpre said. "Both the employees who go out and manage emergency events, as well as those who are in the office providing administrative support, it's super important to keep them safe and to provide them with the type of facility and the type of equipment they need to do their jobs effectively.”
And these upgrades will also benefit the community in the long run.
“They eat, sleep, bathe here, and so we're really looking at a lot of improvements to help their time here be more comfortable and to help them be the best firefighters they can be,” Longpre said.
Longpre said she anticipates construction to begin in November and last four to five months, if not longer.
During that time, the fire station will remain open and fully accessible.
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