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Fire district signs $1 million Freeland station contract

"Continuing an ambitious program of fire station construction, the Fire District 3 board of commissioners signed an engineering and design contract Thursday night for the construction of a new, $1 million fire station to be built on property off Cameron Road in Freeland.The three commissioners put their signatures to a $112,000 contract with the Mount Vernon architecture firm of Carletti and Associates. The contract signals the official start of the construction project, which will replace the district's old, two-bay station on Harbor Avenue with a 4-bay, 8,000-square-foot station at the intersection of Cameron Road and Highway 525.The contract signing comes as construction workers are putting continuing work on a new fire station on Saratoga Road. Chief Don Smith noted that while it may seem that the district is on a construction tear, the Freeland station project has been four years in the planning. Commissioner Mike Helland told Smith that the final result will be worth the wait.It's like good wine, Don. You have to wait for it, he said. Construction on the Freeland station is expected to start this year. The station could be finished by early 2002.As the commissioners gave their approval to the Freeland station project, the quality of work being done on the Saratoga station has fire district officials concerned. Chief Smith said builders allowed the station's insulation to get wet during recent rains, which could be a concern once the building is finished. He also noted that workers installing the station's prefabricated steel exterior have screwed some of the metal so tightly to the building's under structure that it has buckled at the screw heads.I'm not real satisfied with the fasteners, Smith said.Both problems can be fixed, he said. Any moisture in the building's insulation can be driven out after the building is competed by heating the interior of the station to about 80 degrees for several days. That will drive the moisture through the steel sheeting that covers the building. As for the sheet metal dimpling, Smith said he is checking with the building's manufacturer to determine if the buckling is up to industry construction standards. If it is not, he said he will ask the builders to replace any buckled siding. "

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