Sierra Jenkins / @ 8:13 a.m. / LoCO Video Reports

(VIDEO) OPEN HOUSE: Arcata Fire District’s Super Swanky McKinleyville Station Remodel is Finally Complete


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After two decades of fundraising, a donation from the Orvamae Emmerson Endowment Fund, a loan through the Arcata Economic Development Corporation and a year of construction, the remodel of Arcata Fire District’s McKinleyville station is finally complete.

With a price tag of $1.8 million, it not only looks more modern but has added amenities, is more functional and is safer, overall.

Fire Chief Justin McDonald is elated.

“The building project has been a long time in the works,” he says. “I started as a 19-year-old kid as a volunteer, and that’s what we were talking about in 1994.”

With growing populations and increasing call volumes, getting both the fire district’s downtown Arcata station and McKinleyville station upgraded to fit the times was a must. The Arcata remodel was completed in the fall of 2015.

The Arcata Volunteer Firefighters’ Association teamed up with Greenway Partners to facilitate the project and construction for the McKinleyville station was awarded to Pierson Company.

“It’s been an all hands community project to get this thing finished and it’s great,” said McDonald.

The building received a seismic upgrade to protect against earthquakes, which includes steel framing and wall reinforcements. They’ve now got a drive-thru apparatus room, so firefighters no longer have to back up a fire engine off Central Avenue, and a new diesel exhaust removal system.

Plus the station is more cozy for the firefighters since it’s truly their home away from home. They transitioned from bunk rooms to dorm-style rooms, have a nice living area, conference room, offices, and a laundry facility.

In this LoCO Video Report we take a tour of the remodeled location and learn more about the new additions from Chief McDonald.

Then on June 3 you can take a tour of place yourself at the district’s first open house.

“Everybody’s asking to come see the new fire station,” McDonald said. “So we figured a good weekend would be when people are in town for the Pony Express Days parade, to capitalize on Central Avenue being packed with people walking up and down the street.”

The open house will also have a variety of public safety partners such as Calfire, Arcata Ambulance, Cal-Ore Life Flight, PG&E and the CERT Coalition. So mark your calendars!


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