Burn building ready for use

JOHNSTOWN —Area firefighters will soon get to train in live fire conditions at the Fulton County “burn building,” which in late 2016 underwent its first major renovation in 14 years.

County Civil Defense-Fire Coordinator Steve Santa Maria said Monday that PCC Contracting Inc. of Schenectady did a “superb” job renovating the training building on Sun Valley Road.

“That project is complete,” Santa Maria said.

The Fulton County Board of Supervisors previously awarded a low bid of $181,275 to PCC Contracting for the 2016 capital project.

The county had originally planned for only a $100,000, 2016 capital project involving renovation of the burn building, but costs came in much higher than anticipated. The county had to find funding from other sources, such as a transfer out of capital improvement reserves.

Area firefighters train under live fire conditions at the concrete burn building structure. But there were ongoing structural problems with the aging and crumbling 2003 building, officials say. The primary problem was water getting in and moisture causing blocks to crack. There have been many cracked areas of the building. Concrete block at the building is porous and routinely absorbs water, prompting problems when the material freezes and thaws, county officials said.

This was the county’s first major renovation of the burn building.

Santa Maria said PCC Contracting finished its work by the start of the year.

“They did some extra stuff for us and never charged us,” the county official said.

He said DM Romeyn Civil Engineering of Gloversville, which designed the renovation, also assisted with additional construction inspection support for the project.

Santa Maria said the burn building will soon be operated with live burning once again.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at [email protected]

By Patricia Older

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