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Work on new fire, police substation right on schedule

Crews are working long and hard on the new West Fargo South side Fire Station at 445 29th Avenue West, in readiness for a February completion date by contractors. Work is intended to continue a little beyond that time frame by members of the West Fargo Fire Department, who will be completing some the finishing work and installing equipment toward making it a totally useable facility by sometime in April.

When complete, the 8,500 square foot facility will serve as a substation for both the West Fargo Fire and West Fargo Police Departments. For the fire department, the new sub station will house five truck bays, have ample office space to allow for future 24-hour staffing, as well as additional space for storage.

The police department space will include one bay and a portion of the office and storage areas dedicated to their use.

Fire Chief Roy Schatschneider said work is progressing nicely, presently focusing on the interior. Most of the exterior construction is complete, with the exception of the landscaping and an emergency generator needs to be hooked up.

Schatschneider said inside work involves positioning walls and getting the interior office space "in order." Truck bay floors still need to be poured but that will occur in the next couple of weeks here. "We have been conversing with them (police officials) throughout the construction process to make sure we are supplying what they will need as far as security and technology for their part of the facility," Schatschneider added.

Schatschneider said the need for the southside location has been dictated by the rapid city expansion since the year 2000, in particular, the development south of I-94 that has offered new challenges to city fire and police squads.

He noted that he is receiving "a lot of good comments from public as far as the way the building looks. I am very pleased the way the building is coming together. The contractor has been great to work with and the architect has pretty well thought of everything we need. A few odd and ends have been popping up that we are addressing as we go along, but all in all, it's going real well."

The fire department currently operates with 43 volunteer firefighters and a paid staff of three - Schatschneider, Assistant Chief Dell Sprecher and Fire Inspector Kendel Frost. Once the new facility is up and running, the threesome will oversee the activity at the new substation and their original headquarters at 106 1st St. E.

Roers Construction of Fargo is the general contractor for the $1,434,500 south side substation project which is being funded through the Fire Department's building fund and the United States Department of Agricultural Rural Development program.