Fire stations of the world: Roaring Fork Fire Rescue Authority, Snowmass Village, Colorado, US
The Roaring Fork Fire Rescue Authority Snowmass Fire Station in Snowmass Village, Colorado, US, boasts seven bays for housing apparatus, a command room, kitchen and day rooms, a training tower, seven soundproof bedrooms for the fire fighters, six studio apartments as part of the district’s employee-housing requirement and resident training program, a 600-square-foot gym, a lobby and reception area. Designed by Charles Cunniffe Architects, the station was officially opened on 30 November 2018. Topping the reasons Snowmass needed a new fire station was a failing foundation beneath the former, 46-year-old building. This marks a new era for the 30 fire fighters, captains and chiefs who make up the longstanding Snowmass-Wildcat Fire Protection District.
The first responders moved into and were operating fully in their new, $19 million, 32 473-square-foot, state-of-the-art station, which opened its doors to the community for an open house. “It’s almost surreal,” Snowmass fire captain Chance Goldyn said of the district’s transition from the temporary site that consisted of a tent and trailers at the rodeo lot. “It’s a beautiful facility and it’s very impressive from what we came from,” Goldyn said at the open house.
Despite the cold, snowy weather, the district’s ceremonial opening and ribbon cutting attracted about 150 people and several young children sporting plastic fire hats, running around and climbing the fire trucks, mesmerised by all of the apparatus.
A number of Snowmass leaders also were in attendance, including Mayor Markey Butler, who said she was “blown away” the first time she walked through the station and learned of its many bells and whistles. “Everything was thought through, like these LED lights,” Butler said. “The thought process and the planning are phenomenal. You can tell the detail Charles (Cunniffe Architects) went through.” Project architect and Snowmass resident Ryan Hoffner said the firm “took a lot of pride in working on and making sure it was a great building for the community to really get behind.” “I love talking with fire fighters and hearing how much they love the new facility,” Hoffner said. “That’s rewarding.”
Construction of the station culminated about a month earlier than anticipated, despite a massive local wildfire in the summer that required the attention of every member of the Snowmass fire district, as well as early soil complications that considerably delayed the project. “The plan is this building doesn’t move like the other one,” Snowmass fire board president Bill Boineau joked at the open house.
Accommodating for Snowmass’ changing landscaping, growth and increased development, both within the past almost half a century and in the future with Base Village and high-rise buildings, also were notable factors. The previous fire station, which had been demolished at the same site on Owl Creek Road, was 18 000 to 19 000 square feet.
A former volunteer fire fighter, town councilman and mayor, Boineau added that the old station was not “as safe as it should be.” Boineau will continue his work with the Snowmass fire district in its next chapter, serving as vice chairman of the Roaring Fork Fire Authority. “We just want to thank the community for allowing this to be built and for supporting us,” Boineau said. “This wouldn’t have happened without their hard-earned money and time, and we respect that.”
Roaring Fork Fire Rescue Station 45 in Snowmass Village, Colorado earned the highest level of distinction by the Firehouse Magazine Station Design Awards, which recognises outstanding architecture and design from fire departments nationwide. Winners were selected by a panel of seven judges, including a fire chief, a fire chief/architect, a fire engineer/architect and four architects specialised in fire station designs.
As a memento, the station also houses the roughly 20-foot fire pole from the former facility, which is simply to include “a piece of the old building” within the new.
Source: Aspen Times and Charles Cunniffe Architects