New Beaufort fire station on schedule, on budget

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Photo above: New Ribaut Road fire station making steady progress.

Beaufort’s new Ribaut Road fire station is on schedule for completion by December and is within budget at the halfway point, city leaders said. As of mid-July, the heavy steel framing is complete, the electrical and plumbing rough-in installations are underway, site drainage and the site sewer system are about 90 percent done and the water system connections are about 75 percent complete.

“Even with our almost daily thunderstorms and occasional heavy rain, the crews have done a great job to keep this project moving forward,” Beaufort City Manager Bill Prokop said. “It’s a much-needed project and we are looking forward to making it operational.”

In coming weeks, roof sheeting will be installed and brickwork will begin. An access road will be rough-graded. The site is geographically positioned between Port Royal’s main station and Beaufort’s current Fire Headquarters near the intersection of Ribaut and Boundary Street.The total cost of the project, including land, furnishings and technology, is $3,299,837. Costs include storm water improvements for the immediate area.The new facility will replace the outdated one beside Beaufort Middle School and across from Mossy Oaks Elementary on residential Mossy Oaks Road. City Council hasn’t decided what to do with that property after the new facility opens.

“The location of this new fire station will provide seamless coverage between the main Beaufort station and our main fire station in Port Royal,” Port Royal Town Manager Van Willis said. “It’s good to see the project rising up so fast.”

When the new station is completed, firefighting equipment will be moved from the Mossy Oaks Road facility. Fraser Construction is leading the work on the new firehouse.

“Fire protection is such an important service for the residents of Beaufort and Port Royal, and building this new station is essential to the Beaufort-Port Royal Fire Department. So far we are very pleased with the progress,” said David Coleman, senior projects manager for Beaufort.

Beaufort Fire Chief Sammy Negron said the new Ribaut Road location offers: direct access to the main artery between Beaufort and Port Royal, easy and efficient travel times to the entire coverage area for this fire station, excellent geographical positioning to reinforce and enhance the ISO 2 rating that helps reduce commercial fire insurance premiums, limited impact on neighborhoods, greater distance from large schools than the current Mossy Oaks station, and smooth traffic flow for fire vehicles, including direct access to the rear of the facility (eliminating fire trucks having to back into the bays).