Delayed Fire Station Set for Spring Opening

After firing a contractor in June on a fire station project that was due to open in winter 2017, county staff members now hope to have Kirkpatrick Fire and Rescue Station open in spring of 2019.

Since summer, county staff members have been trying to find a way to get the construction complete—and where necessary—fixed. County Public Information Officer Glen Barbour said the county has already hired a contractor for site work and is negotiating contracts for other outstanding work, such as mechanical, electrical, plumbing systems, and finishes. Department of Transportation and Capital Infrastructure Director Joe Kroboth said since the contract was terminated, the county has completed work on the floors, and hopes to have the building open by May 1.

The county’s other concern is safety and security—the property is not fenced off, although the building is locked up when it’s not occupied.

Warner Construction started construction in August 2016, with a $120,000 incentive to have the station done in November 2017. Quarterly county construction reports show Warner in delay since the second quarter of Fiscal Year 2018, which covers October through December of 2017.

According to Fire-Rescue Chief Keith Johnson, his department has already hired the 35 people who will staff that station, but they have enough to keep them busy until the station is ready. The department already had about that many vacancies elsewhere, where they are working until they transfer to Kirkpatrick.

When the contract with the original builder was terminated, construction on the building was said to be 95 percent complete, but County Attorney Leo Rogers said at the time it was not of acceptable quality. More than half of the project’s budget has already been disbursed to the company, he said, but there is enough money held in reserve to repair and complete the building. So far, county staff members have not indicated that additional funding will be needed.

When complete, it will be an 18,000-square-foot station on five acres at the corner of Braddock Road and Loudoun County Parkway. The county budgeted $13.4 million for the project.

Rogers has said the dispute with Warner Construction is likely to end in a lawsuit. No lawsuit has so far been filed, and Rogers said the county is still in discussion with the firm.

rgreene@loudounnow.com

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