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story.lead_photo.caption Jefferson City firefighter Jesse Berendzen wipes off a Station 4 fire engine Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020, after it came back from maintenance work. Photo by Liv Paggiarino / News Tribune.

Jefferson City Council members pushed through approval of a project to renovate Fire Station 4 and an addition to the plan.

The project received full council support with the near $6,000 addition of replacing windows in the building.

The $588,000 renovation looks to extend the life of the building at 820 Ellis Blvd., which opened in 1969.

Fire Chief Matthew Schofield said the building's location is in a good place with good access to the road and is able to service a large portion of the city.

"We believe this type of project can extend the life of the facility for about 15-20 years into the future," he said. "We believe that it's a good investment into the community."

The public safety approved the project Thursday and it was not scheduled for a vote before the council Monday. However, Councilman Mark Schreiber, Ward 5, requested the vote because of the matter's urgency.

Under the proposal, the work should be completed by the beginning of November.

Of the $588,000 needed for the renovation, about $322,220 has been allocated from leftover funds from Fire Station 2. The rest, Schofield previously said and City Administrator Steve Crowell confirmed, could be available through sales tax F money.

Schofield said the renovations would include:

- Expanding the back of the station for a storm shelter and fitness room.

- Creating an ADA-compliant bathroom.

- Adding partitions in the bunkroom for increased privacy.

- Adding a designated office space.

- Updating electrical services for increased reliability and future solar power options.

- Creating a decontamination area for gear.

- Adding storage.

Councilman Scott Spencer, Ward 4, suggested the council add about $6,000 to replace the windows in the building. It passed the council unanimously.

"I think that will enhance the project and make sure we get that extended service life for the facility," he said.

Schofield said the project would push the front of the building out to make room for the bathroom and office space.

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When the station was built, Schofield previously said, the department didn't have female firefighters, which means it wasn't designed for multiple bathrooms or split sleeping areas.

The front end of the building would also house a captain's office and a three-bed bunk space.

An extension on the back side of the building would be equipped as a storm shelter. However, it would primarily store fitness equipment, which is currently held in the building's main bay.

The building would also have two more three-bed sleeping areas and storage off the bay. The project would also replace the station's roof.

The project will require the firefighters working in Station 4 to relocate for at least part of the construction along with their gear, which is part of the rush for it to get started.

Schofield said weather is a large factor in when work can be done because of that.

For instance, the fire trucks may need to stay at the station, and it would be a concern for firefighters to need to run to the trucks with snow and ice out.

The projected plan has work done over the summer and beginning of fall.

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