KATY/HARRIS COUNTY (Covering Katy News) – The Harris County Emergency Services District 48 Fire Department hit a milestone on construction of its new Station No. 1 located at 24127 Western Center Drive, near the Katy Freeway and Costco.
Construction crews and members of the HCESD 48 Fire Department celebrated the topping out of the project on Friday, Jan. 30, 2020. Topping out refers to the completion of the roof on a building. It signifies that the structure has reached its maximum height.
Many times a tree is placed atop a structure during a topping out ceremony. Given the slope of the roof it was determined that placing a tree on top of the structure would be unsafe. A meal was served as part of the celebration but a tree was not placed on the roof.
The new Fire Station No. 1, designed by Martinez Architects, is the culmination of a three-year plan that started with the staffing of a temporary Fire Station No. 1 at the intersection of Kingsland Boulevard and Cobia Drive to the southeast of the new site.
Topping out does not mean the structure is finished. There is still a lot of work to be done.
"We're scheduled to be complete August of 2020," said Austin Shaw, project manager for Christensen building group.
The new Fire Station No. 1 will have four apparatus bays that will house seven emergency vehicles and will serve up to sixteen fire and EMS personnel as well as two chief officers. In addition, the station was designed with fire fighter cancer prevention in mind. Crews bunker gear will be kept isolated from emitting any carcinogens in a positive pressure room. Apparatus bays will include diesel exhaust capture devices so exhaust does not contaminate common and sleeping areas of the station.