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Lebanon fire unveils new headquarters

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Station 31 Exterior Render

An architect's rendering of Station 31, Lebanon Fire District's headquarters and central station, as it could look after construction beginning by mid-October.

Lebanon’s fire department has unveiled plans for the building that will replace its nearly 50-year-old headquarters station by early 2024.

Renderings shared by Lebanon Fire District in a July 29 news release show six spacious bays for firetrucks, adjoined offices and a contemporary corrugated metal-and-exposed timbers exterior emblazoned with Station 31 in bright red paint.

Battalion Chief Ken Savage said the district is finalizing building plans and a project timeline, so he couldn’t provide a specific estimated cost or start date. But the current station house that provides training, administration and bunks for five or six frontline firefighters will be gone by mid-October, he said.

“It was time,” Savage said.

The district in 2019 estimated it would need $13.6 million to replace Station 31. Voters narrowly passed a $16-million, 26-year general obligation bond to fund construction.

Savage described the existing station as an amalgam of 13 additions and expansions made in succession as the technology and mission of the district evolved.

Constructed in 1974, the station house lacks accommodations for people with disabilities and likely wouldn’t survive an earthquake, Savage said. The district estimated it would cost $2.2 million to retrofit the building and bring it in line with seismic standards.

“We didn’t even have females in the fire service,” Savage said. “That’s how long ago it was.”

He said the station’s planned replacement doesn’t add room for equipment, but adds firefighter bunks and space for administrators. The design improves flow of people through a building that can be a fast-paced environment.

“It provides us room for growth,” Savage said.

Firefighters will live in modular buildings — removable manufactured housing — and trucks and ambulances will be stationed in a storage building during construction, he said.

The district expects to break ground on the improved Station 31 in late September or early October, Savage said. Cost of construction will depend on how building plans look by the fall.

“The more detailed the drawings, the more you can dial in what the exact costs are,” he said.

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Alex Powers (he/him) covers business, environment and healthcare for Mid-Valley Media. Call 541-812-6116 or email Alex.Powers@lee.net.

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Alex Powers (he/him) reports business, environment and healthcare for Mid-Valley Media. He studied sociology at University of Oregon where he earned a master’s degree in journalism. Alex probably is outdoors when he’s not behind a camera or notepad.

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