The South River Fire Department is a 70-member volunteer department. Established in 1896, the department serves the borough of South River, NJ, and was working out of its circa 1917 station when it was surrounded by flooded roads during Superstorm Sandy in 2012. It was clear that a new station at a new location was needed.
The borough is 95 percent built-out with much of it located in the flood plain. Determining a new site was a complicated two-year process. After the first proposed site was opposed by neighbors, the project was eventually located on a combined parcel—a former Knights of Columbus property and a gas station. Site issues resulted in the building being constructed on 325 helical piles and required the removal of contaminated soil to a depth of 15 feet.
The new two-story, 21,388-square-foot fire headquarters includes an additional 2,073 square feet in the former Knights’ boxing school, which will house Fire Prevention, Ladies Auxiliary, Exempt/Relief Association, and records storage.
The 5,730-square-foot apparatus bay has three double-deep drive-through and two back-in bays, allowing the cab of the ladder truck to be lifted while inside. The decon/laundry has two 105-pound capacity washer/extractors and two drying cabinets. The SCBA fill compressor is isolated from the fill station room 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.
The meeting/training room can accommodate 85 seated at tables and can be divided into two rooms. It is serviced by a kitchenette and storage for tables, chairs and training props.
The station has future bunking for 10 firefighters. The building envelope and all mechanical and electrical systems exceed current energy efficiency standards. Funding was provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Architect/Firm Name: Mitchell Associates Architects.