In Quarters: Niagara Engine Company No. 6 Fire Station

July 23, 2019
Niagara Engine Company No. 6 in Schoharie, NY, received FEMA funding to build a new station after Hurricane Irene destroyed its previous facility in 2011.

This facility was a Volunteer/Combination Notable selection in Firehouse's 2018 Station Design Awards. Find the full list of winners here.

After Hurricane Irene hit in 2011, the Schoharie Fire Department, Niagara Engine Company No. 6, needed a new station. Flooded to a depth of 8 feet during the storm, their 1955 building was condemned. The department quickly set up temporary quarters in a ramshackle Quonset hut with a framed addition that had been a tractor dealership. In 2012, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funded the construction of a temporary pole barn.

The fire department received FEMA funding commitment for a new fire station, requiring that the new station replace the old station “in-kind,” with no “betterments” that were not mandated by law or code. With careful documentation, the department presented convincing arguments to FEMA that resulted in approval in 2015 of a fully modern station. Because the new site is located in a Historic Overlay District, zoning required facades that blend with a nearby 1772 stone church. The result is a handsome, historic-looking building.

The first-floor area is 13,360 square feet, with a 630-square-foot mezzanine and 5,940-square-foot walkout basement. The four-bay, double deep apparatus bay is 6,000 square feet. The decon/laundry has a washer/extractor, drying cabinet, and separate washer and dryer. The SCBA fill compressor is isolated for hearing protection. Training space is provided by a classroom, a mezzanine with a bailout window and a confined space extrication manhole, and an exercise room in the basement.

The meeting/training room accommodates 82 seated at tables. It can be divided into two rooms and is serviced by a kitchen, A/V room, and storage for tables, chairs and training props. The kitchen equipment was donated by a local restaurant.

Six years after Irene, community pride was on full display at the Grand Opening in October 2017. The station represents the can-do spirit of the fire company and the Town of Schoharie.

Architect/Firm Name: Mitchell Associates Architects.

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