Committee backs appropriation  for Round Hill fire station design

Posted: December 12, 2012

The Winchester Star

WINCHESTER — Frederick County’s Public Works Committee on Tuesday endorsed a supplemental appropriation of more than $450,000 that will be used to plan and design a new fire station for the Round Hill Community Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company.

The requested budget amendment will go to the Finance Committee for consideration next month and then on to the full Board of Supervisors.

The planning and design phase is estimated to cost $452,347. It has not been determined how future costs for the project — which has an estimated overall price tag of $4.5 million — will be paid for.

As part of the design phase, the county will hire an architectural firm and two engineering firms — one to provide site plan designs, other site work and access road and utility designs and the other to provide quality assurance, quality control and geotechnical assistance.

The new station will be located on up to four acres of land west of Winchester off Northwestern Pike (U.S. 50), adjacent to the under-construction Village at Orchard Ridge community. According to Round Hill Chief Chester Lauck, the company’s current building is more than 50 years old.

It has become “too old, too small,” for the company, Lauck said after the Public Works Committee voted to endorse the appropriation.

“It’s lived its life expectancy,” he said. “The [current] equipment isn’t built to the size it was back then so [a new station] is overdue.”

The company has about 40 members, with 25 active firefighters. The station will have three vehicle bays with the possibility for a fourth if its needed in the future.

Lauck added that, while the timeframe for construction is up to the county, he hopes ground can be broken by late spring or early summer next year and that the company could move into the facility by the middle of 2014.

The county could see financial benefits in the future if it uses the model for the Round Hill station for future fire stations instead of having to go through extensive design processes, said Ross Spicer, a Frederick County supervisor and Public Works Committee member, during the meeting.

Attending the meeting in the Frederick County Administration Building were Chair Gene Fisher and members John R. Riley Jr., Jim Wilson, Whit Wagner, Kris Tierney, Ross Spicer and Robert Wells. Absent were members George Ludwig and Gary Lofton.

— Contact Matt Armstrong at marmstrong@winchesterstar.com