Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Contributed Report

Four Rural Studio students are continuing to work on their project in Newbern.

These students – Leia Price, Liz Ellington, Matthew Finley, and Will Brothers – are constructing the Newbern Fire Station.

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In the fall of 2003 the Newbern Volunteer Fire Department met with the Rural Studio team of students. The goal of the NVFD is to have a building to house the fire trucks, to provide a meeting location as a town hall for voting and for Newbern City Council, to become a location for fund-raising events, and also to provide a place for classes on fire-fighting.

The Rural Studio students’ plan is to construct a garage for the fire trucks, a kitchenette, a bathroom, and a meeting space.

The loft will be for small meetings.

After the trucks are driven from the building, a space for large meetings will become available.

The roof of the Newbern Fire Department

is constructed of galvalune and wraps the north wall.

There are louvered windows at the ground level.

The windows of the North wall and the entire South wall are made of polycarbonate – a translucent plastic material that is durable and strong and shatterproof but requires low maintenance.

These windows are designed to provide passive heat and cooling to the inside of the building.

In the winter the sun’s rays will enter the building through the polycarbonate, will heat up the concrete foundation, and at night will radiate the heat into the inside of the building.

In summer the cedar slats will divert the sun’s rays and provide shade for the inside of the building.

Inside the station there is a unique staircase of welded steel steps.

Construction will begin soon on another outside staircase that will also lead to the second floor loft area.

The fire truck will enter from the rear of the building and exit from the front.

The fire truck will be able to enter quickly onto Highway 61 traveling either North or South.

The Hale County Highway Department assisted in digging the foundation for the building.

A grant and donations are being utilized to pay for the materials for the Newbern Fire Station.

If you are interested in donating, will you send a check to Auburn University, P.O. Box

278, Newbern AL 36765 with directions to apply the donation to the Newbern Fire Station Fund?

With extensive rebar and concrete strengthening the foundation and substantial trusses above, it appears that the fire station will be a useful and unique building for the City of Newbern for many, many years.