In Quarters: Midway Fire Station, Colonie, NY

Jan. 23, 2018
The Midway Fire Department built a new four-bay, 23,976-square-foot fire station to replace a structure built in 1951.

This station received a Volunteer/Combination Notable Award in Firehouse's 2017 Station Design Awards. Find the full list of winners here

The Midway Fire Department is aptly named. Located midway along the heavily traveled commercial corridor connecting Schenectady and Albany, NY, the department is staffed by 55 volunteer firefighters who respond to over 300 calls per year and provide fire protection and emergency medical support services to approximately 3.2 square miles of residential and commercial properties.

The original Midway Station One was built in 1951, with additions in 1987 and 1992. In poor physical condition, the station clearly needed updating. The department worked with the architects to determine if they should renovate or knock down. Problems with asbestos, mold and structural deficiencies led to the decision to build new. The department was able to operate out of its Station Two during construction, and the result is a new 15,474-sq.-ft., three-bay fire station with a 4,100-sq.-ft. apparatus bay, firematic support, offices, a dayroom and meeting/ training space. In the words of the Board of Fire Commissioners, the design goal was to be “functional not fancy.”

This emphasis on function in the final design was essential, as voters had initially turned down a plan for a four-bay, 23,976-square-foot. facility. Back at the drawing board, the building committee and the architect downsized the meeting room and eliminated museum space, a physical exercise room, a bay designed for future trucks, and an enclosed turnout gear storage room. Carried forward into the new plan were the following health/safety features and energy efficiencies:

  • Tailpipe exhaust capture
  • Air-tight boundary between clean and dirty side, with work regularly inspected by an envelope commissioning agent
  • No ductwork passing through boundary between dirty and clean
  • Constant heat recover ventilation 95 percent efficiency heating combustion
  • Variable frequency drives for pumps and fans
  • LED and T-5 lighting

Architects: Mitchell Associates Architects

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