Willits Fire Station No. 54 - Willits, California
Calpo Hom & Dong Architects
Posted: May 2, 2022 | Projects
Little Lake Fire Protection District serves the City of Willits and surrounding rural areas covering 330 square miles, with 75% of the jurisdiction used for wild land, agriculture,or undeveloped properties; 10% used for commercial/industrial and 15% used for residential. The permanent resident population is approximately 12,350. The Willits Fire Station is located in the heart of Willits, adjacent to the world renowned “Skunk Train” depot.
Photo Courtesy of Rudy Calpo Photography
The original Station was built in 1952 for a much smaller department. Since then, with increased demand for fire services, the existing building became overcrowded, and additional space was needed for more emergency vehicles; more administrative offices; emergency shelter capability; fitness training; overnight sleeping; public meetings; and future expansion. These are all typical programmatic requirements for Fire Stations of similar district area and emergency call volume. The existing building was +/-6,291 square feet and it is far out of compliance with seismic and accessibility standards.
In 2013, the District was awarded USDA funding for a new replacement Station, but the ballot initiative with the public failed, and stopped the project. After the disastrous California Wildfires of 2017, public mood changed, and a second ballot initiative was approved. The site is only +/-0.44 acres, on a busy corner site, adjacent to City Hall, the Noyo Movie Theater, a Church, Residential housing, and a City Park.
The District’s requirements were simple: build as large of a station that can be accommodated on the site, and within the budget set by the funding mechanism. The existing structure was structurally non-compliant with California Essential Services requirements, and hazardous with growing mold and asbestos. The existing structure was demolished, anda new station planned on the same site, with the addition of a purchase of an adjacent residential lot. With rising construction costs, CH&D Architects and the District selected a Pre-Engineered Metal Building (PEMB) system for the building shell, but witha simple twist: The Station is actually two PEMBs, offset but connected – one building houses the offices and living quarters while the other building houses the Apparatus Bays and support area. The offsets allow for public and staff parking adjacent to the offices/living quarters, and a concrete Apron adjacent to the Apparatus Bays. The exterior is a combination of two types of Red Metal Siding and Rock, with a Standing Seam Metal Roof. A belvedere structure frames in a mechanical well and adds a distinct profile to the building.
The interior includes a large Public Lobby with access to a Community Room; District administrative offices and Living Quarters for the Fire Crew and Volunteers. Materials are selected for longevity and low maintenance – tile and carpet tile floors, painted walls, suspended and painted ceilings, casework, and windows and doors. The new single-story building is +/-11,063 square feet.
The new Willits Fire Station No. 54 improves the District’s fire fighting capabilities, and serves as a Civic landmark for the City, a place that is already readily identified by the community.
Calpo Hom & Dong Architects
2120 20th Street, Suite One, Sacramento, CA 95818
Bevier Structural Engineering
2479 Sunrise Boulevard, Gold River, CA 95670
3517 Marconi Avenue, #204, Sacramento, CA 95821
Capitol City Design
1751 Cebrian Street, West Sacramento, CA 95691
Huffman Engineering & Surveying
537 College Avenue, #A, Santa Rosa, CA 95404
Adams Commercial General Contracting (ACGC)
217 E Street, Eureka, CA 95501
Location: Willits, California
Date Bid: Jun 2020
Construction Period: Aug 2020 to Dec 2021
Site: 0.44 acre.
Total Square Feet: 11,063
Building Size: First floor, 11,063; total, 11,063 square feet.
Building Height: First floor, 33'; total, 33'.
Number of Buildings: One.
Basic Construction Type: New, Pre-Engineered Metal Building.
Foundation: Cast-in-place, reinforced concrete, slab-on-grade.
Exterior Walls: Pre-engineered metal building.
Roof: Metal, traffic bearing roof deck.
Interior Walls: Metal stud drywall.