San Rafael, CA – The Tomales Fire Station soon will undergo its projected one-year makeover now that the $6.6 million construction contract has been awarded to E.F. Brett & Company Inc. of San Rafael. Removal of the old structure will take place during November and construction of the new facility is anticipated to start in early December.
The Tomales Fire Station will be demolished in November and a renovated one will reopen in about a year.
The Marin County Department of Public Works
(DPW) project will rebuild the 47-year-old station into an efficient facility that exemplifies today’s standards for an essential services building. During construction, the region’s fire safety services will operate out of a temporary facility located at 26701 State Route 1 in Tomales.
Marin County Fire Department stations were assessed in a 2010 Fire Facilities Vision Plan, and it became evident that the Tomales station did not meet modern fire facility requirements, including seismic codes, equipment capacity and service demands. The necessary improvements required a complete redesign of the building from the ground up. After the 2010 study, the Marin County Board of Supervisors began setting aside reserve funds to implement the long-term, modernization plan.
Ross Drulis Cusenbery Architecture, Inc, was contracted last year by DPW for design and engineering services of the new station. A community scoping meeting was held in Tomales in June 2017, and the construction plans and specifications were given final approval at the Board of Supervisors session in July 2018.
The new 8,653-square-foot fire station will be constructed on the same site as the old facility. The new building has been ecologically tailored to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) status. The environmentally conscious, contemporary design is intended to compliment the unique landscape of West Marin with characteristics reminiscent of the region’s ranch-style architecture.
The facility will include a front office entry area, triage/EMS room, living and dining area, sleeping rooms, fitness room, apparatus bays, prep room, workshop, as well as mechanical, electrical, and IT rooms. Exterior features include native plantings, bio-retention areas for stormwater management, parking areas, an emergency generator, water storage tanks and related fire sprinkler systems. Additionally, a photovoltaic solar array, infrastructure for electrical vehicle charging stations, and an upgraded, on-site septic system for greater capacity will be incorporated into the new facility.
The existing building, constructed in 1971, was only designed to house a single-engine company with living quarters for one firefighter. However, it now serves the largest area of any Marin County Fire station, including Tomales, Marshall, Dillon Beach, and Chileno Valley, as well as being the only one that supports a local volunteer fire company and responds to Tomales Bay emergencies. Additionally, the station provides mutual aid to the Sonoma County communities of Two Rock, Bodega Bay, Valley Ford, and the U.S. Coast Guard. To handle those responsibilities, the facility has three fire engines, water search and rescue equipment, and during fire season, a six-person crew for wildland fire protection under contract with California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, known as CAL Fire.