St. Joseph Fire Station Honored in National Design Competition

The city of St. Joseph, St. Joseph Fire Department, and Williams Spurgeon Kuhl & Freshnock Architects today are jointly announcing that the newly renovated Fire Station No. 12 has won a Silver Design Award in Fire Chief magazine’s Station Style fire station design competition.

Judges honored the station in the Renovation category. Sponsored by Fire Chief magazine, the annual Station Style competition drew more than 80 entries nationwide for stations designed by some of the country’s top fire station architects. The competition is widely regarded in the fire service and architectural fields as one of the top honors for fire station design.

Fire Chief Mike Dalsing exemplified the work that occurred saying, "This was an exciting project to be involved with. The firefighters at Station 12, city engineering staff, our architect, and the general contractor, Brooner Crane and Construction, did a great job of working together to successfully reuse the old station and construct a new addition that will serve the firefighters and citizens of St Joseph for many years to come."

"The Silver Award confirms our belief that Station No. 12 represents leading-edge fire station design and long-term, cost-effective investment of the City’s resources," says Rick Kuhl, the WSKF Architects principal who led the project design team. "The station and the award reflect the City’s ongoing commitment to public safety and the judges’ belief that architecturally Station No. 12 is among the most noteworthy stations in the country."

The station, located at 2807 St. Joseph Avenue, was built in 1910 and originally housed horse-drawn fire apparatus. After a century of service, the station was experiencing chronic water intrusion problems and required renovation and expansion to meet the city’s current public safety needs.

The renovation of the fire station was funded from the city’s Capital Improvements Program. This project came in almost $800,000 under budget and was the first new station built in the city since 1977. Completed in October 2011, Station 12 provides 7,200 square feet of renovated and added space. The original one-bay station was renovated to house training, physical fitness, and support services space while the new addition houses two apparatus bays and living quarters.

WSKF Architects and its engineering partners designed a single-story addition, pitched roof and used appropriate building materials to ensure the station would meet long-term, low-maintenance goals as well as fit aesthetically in the neighborhood. The placement of the apparatus bays and design for the front driveway apron provide safer street access and improve fire truck drivers’ view along St. Joseph Avenue.