Affiliated companies Watermark Design Group and Thompson Engineering worked together to provide architectural and engineering design services for the City of Saraland’s new, 8,728 square foot fire station. Built to allow the city to provide faster safety services to its growing population, the fire station features three bays for a trio of emergency response vehicles. Watermark’s design features bays flanked by living quarters on one side, including a kitchen and dayroom. All business and training areas are on the opposite side of the bays. They include a training room, triage area and administrative offices.
The structural system includes load-bearing, decorative concrete masonry units (CMU) for the exterior and apparatus bay walls, limited structural steel and steel joist framing and roof deck. A barrel vault with exposed curved steel joists highlights the apparatus bay. The roofing systems include both metal panel and modified bituminous. Thompson Engineering implemented the design as structural engineer of record, and also provided civil engineering expertise.
Saraland Fire Station #3 looks similar to several other fire stations along the Gulf Coast. This station became the first of five (and counting) to use a prototype design as a starting point.
The Poarch Creek Indians in Atmore, Alabama asked Watermark and Thompson Engineering to adapt the design and provide the same services for a 9,091 square foot version, which displays the tribe’s colors.
In October 2011, construction of a third fire station of similar design began in Theodore, Alabama. The 9,322 square foot fire station features several additional amenities such as a natural gas generator, a “Trillion” cell communication tower and a state-of-the-art visual and audible alerting system.
In 2018, the City of Mobile cut the ribbon on the Crichton Fire Station, the largest version of the prototype design thus far. The 12,137 square foot, four apparatus bay fire station accommodates seven vehicles and allowed for the closure of two smaller aging stations.
Watermark and Thompson Engineering are currently working with the Village of Springhill in Mobile, Alabama to design a new fire station with the prototype design. While the design allows the stations to function the same on the inside, it allows for customization of exterior details to suit individual neighborhoods.