The Greening of Mt Prospect=>New Fire Station
The Mount Prospect Fire Department will open its first energy-efficient station at the beginning of next year. This fire station, which will become the new Station 14 at 2000 E. Kensington Rd. , will earn recognition in an international green certification system , said Fire Station Chief Michael Figolah.
Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, this third-party system determines whether the construction meets the criteria of gree n building design to save energy and reduce carbon-dioxide emissions . Figolah hopes the station will receive gold certification from the council?s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program.
?The government needs to set an example to be more friendly with the environment,? he said. ?We?re seeing many new buildings going toward LEED certification.?
The Village of Mount Prospect suggested the Fire Department pursue an eco- friendly building. The new s tructure will take advantage of natural daylight with glass windows and have very low amounts of volatile organic compounds, which are harmful fumes from paints and furniture. The building can also withstand winds up to 160 miles per hour.
?A year and a half ago, 90 mile-per- hour winds caused a lot of damage,? Figolah said. ? When conditions are at their worst, it?s important that we?re there when the community needs us the most.?
The current fire station was built for the volunteer fire department in 1960 and never intended for full-time firefighters, Figolah said. The heating and air conditioning system is in poor condition, and the structure does not have a training room or office for the lieutenant.
?We?ve been there since 1971, so it?s served us well for 38 years,? Figolah said. ?The windows are falling out. We knew the station was beyond rebuilding or additions .?
The new house features energy-saving light bulbs that automatically turn off in unoccupied rooms, stained concrete floors and an energy-efficient elevator. The outside will display native plants that do not require irrigation.
The U.S. Green Building Council provides grant money to projects with LEED -certified building. The Mount Prospect Fire will pursue gold certification to receive a governmental grant for its efforts to conserve energy.
Mount Prospect?s new fire station is an example of government and community working together. The only site available to build east of the railroad tracks was the River Trails Park District?s baseball field on Kensington Road. River Trails School District 26 allowed the Village to build a new field on its property for the fire station to remain on Kensington.
Residents may follow weekly updates about Station 14 on the Village of Mount Prospect?s web site at www.mountprospect.org under ? Fire Station 14 Construction Updates.?The fire department would like to invite the Mount Prospect community to a dedication ceremony for the new station at 2000 E. Kensington Rd. next year.