South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

Mehlville Fire directors considering renovations to No. 5 house, headquarters


The Mehlville Fire Protection District is considering the possibility of renovating Engine House No. 5 using money from 2022’s Proposition 1. 

Fire Chief Brian Hendricks first floated the idea of renovations to the No. 5 engine house, which is also the Mehlville Fire Protection Headquarters, during a 2023 budget premises review at a Board of Directors meeting Aug. 31. The renovations would apply to approximately 10,800 square feet of the building that were not upgraded when the building was renovated in 2000. 

“One of the things I would like to bring to the board’s attention … one of the things that we thought was very important to address was the No. 5 engine house,” Hendricks said. “It might change our budget premise.” 

Money from Proposition 1, a 20-cent tax rate increase approved by voters in April, could be used to address the renovations, which could range anywhere between $1.6 million to $2.4 million depending on the scope of work and when and if the district goes out to bid. 

A portion of the engine house was upgraded in 2000 but not all, including the kitchen and dining room, as well as the apparatus bays.

“There’s a lot of things that need to be updated and upgraded on that side of the house … Really the apparatus bay … get the carcinogens out the apparatus bay … get the exhaust system up to speed, get the turnout gear into a separate room so they aren’t being contaminated,” Roy Mangan said, a principal with ArchImages. “There’s a whole list of different things we want to accomplish with this and be able to renovate the house and be able to bring it up to what we consider today’s standard of fire houses.” 

Hendricks said the current No. 5 house apparatus bay was almost “uninhabitable” compared to other engine houses in the fire district. 

“There’s no ventilation whatsoever, there’s no way to remove any particular matter … it’s all right there. The exhaust system that’s in there does not do it,” Hendricks said. “We have to generate that ventilation in there … these are upgrades … from the health/safety aspect of it … as well as … (the engine house) is tired … it’s just time for a renovation.” 

“It’s pretty bad,” Director Bonnie Stegman added. 

Other renovations to the engine house that could possibly be addressed include a new kitchen and dining area, renovating the bunk rooms, new restrooms, improved storage, upgraded windows and doors and relocating offices. 

The board will consider the renovations at a future meeting. Going forward with the renovations would affect the 2023 budget premise. 

“The real question is going to be is this something we want to incorporate into next year’s budget … We’re talking about putting a $1.5 million toward what we call future engine renovations – it’s that. Are we going to put the $1.5 million aside, or are we going to use the $1.5 million. Those are (the) questions,” Hendricks said. 

“What you’re doing is developing a set of documents that you can put out when you’re finished with it or you can put out two years from now. It’s definitely an investment that you’re putting in a set of drawings,” Mangan added.

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