A 19,000 square-foot expansion and renovation of the Rock Island Arsenal’s fire and police station will give firefighters and police officers more space. Local and state leaders joined Arsenal garrison manager Alan Wilson and fire Chief Richard Reed at a groundbreaking for the $8 million-plus project Thursday.
The 140-year old building will be renovated to include a central fire alarm system, sprinkler system, and combined dispatch center for fire and police. The kitchen, dining and living areas, and existing training spaces also will be renovated. Vehicle bays for fire trucks and emergency response vehicles will be built, and an overhead exhaust system installed.
Mr. Wilson said the work is “long overdue,” and will give the staff a “work environment that allows them to prepare to do their job.” The building, built in 1874, has been renovated several times. However, its size, aging utilities and current infrastructure couldn’t accommodate both departments.
With 46 full-time police officers and 29 full-time firefighters, Mr. Wilson said some of the staff and equipment have been moved to different buildings on the island. “The fire department really needed some changes, and they’re going to get those changes.”
Col. Raymond Midkiff, commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Louisville District in Louisville, Kentucky said he’s looking forward to partnering with the garrison on the project. The project will be paid for with Federal and taxpayer money, Mr. Wilson said. Construction is scheduled to be completed in November 2007 and officers and firefighter will be able to move in by March 2008.
SGS LLC, the General Contractor for the Police/Fire complex has scheduled construction to begin in mid-November.