SARATOGA SPRINGS — A ceremonial groundbreaking was staged in August 2022 atop the lands where the city’s long-awaited fire station no. 3 would be built. Thirteen months later, an unexpected ground-breaking of sorts was discovered that will push the official opening of the Henning Road fire station into the new year.
“We have some good news, and we have some bad news,” Public Safety Commissioner Jim Montagnino said, regarding the status of Fire Station No. 3.
“The good news is the training facility portion of Fire Station 3 is being used, even as we speak,” Montagnino said. A simulated Ladder Rescue component built into the apparatus bays provides a training area for firefighters, allowing them to train in the city and readily available to respond to any calls.
The bad news - “a minor hiccup that’s being taken care of,” the commissioner said, involves cracks in the concrete pads that lead to the apparatus bays in both the front and back of the station building that need to be remedied.
Concrete in the ‘aprons’ leading to the apparatus bays was poured in May 2023. Cracks were discovered in September and tests conducted one month later. “It was determined they are not surface cracks, but rather go all the way through the eight inches of concrete that form the apron,” Montagnino said. There are “several competing theories” regarding what may have caused the slabs to fail that include everything from waterproofing issues to the depth of the reinforcement bars.
The city’s two currently existing stations are located in the downtown district, and on the west side.
The development of a third station followed a generation’s worth of false starts, hard stops, floated land-swaps and a lawsuit. The Henning Road fire station will improve emergency response to the eastern plateau in Saratoga Springs specifically, as well as provide added coverage for the city in general.
Contractors are slated to begin remedying the situation this week, at no cost to the city, with work estimated to be completed in mid-December. That will be followed by a curing period of approximately four weeks before a heavy load may be imposed, effectively pushing the timeline of completion to January.