Hermosa Beach's Fire Station 100, built in 1959 along with the police station, is currently undergoing a substantial makeover on Pier Avenue.

The $1.8 million in renovations includes the demolition and removal of the second story of the station, a new roof, seismic upgrade to the first floor, electrical upgrades to support modern technology, new ADA accessible restroom and shower facilities, new kitchen remodel, among other repairs and upgrades.

Assistant Fire Chief of Los Angeles County Fire Department Scott Hale said the brick exterior of the fire station will be intact, it will essentially be a “brand new station.”

“I think the firefighters will have a nice facility to work from,” Hale said.

The Los Angeles County Fire Department began providing fire services to Hermosa Beach officially on Dec. 30, 2017. The city entered into a memorandum of understanding with L.A. County to support the initial funding of the renovations by offering no cost interest to the city which would be paid back by 2023. Hale said the total cost might be below the initial estimate of $1.8 million.

Brandy Villanueva, emergency services coordinator for the city, said the plan is to have the project completed by March 2020.

Hermosa Beach firefighters moved out of the fire station in 2015 and into a mobile unit on an employee parking lot behind city hall, mainly because of safety concerns. The city had three options for a new fire station, including razing the current station and building a new one from the ground up; renovating the current fire station; and relocating the fire station somewhere in the city.

Prices ranged from $1.8 million for the major renovations to $14 million to build from the ground up. The city chose the remodel.

“The city was looking at alternative sites, but really when you do a crawl map and you look at responses and such, it's in the best location for the city,” Hale said. “So staying at this particular position within the city is important.”

According to a city report, about half the cost of the project, around $910,000 comes from the seismic upgrade of the first floor.

“Everything is upgraded to earthquake standards and today's building codes,” Hale said.

Other substantial costs include electrical work ($152,600), removal of the second floor which had substantial termite damage ($140,000), and removal and replace of roof ($119,000). Asbestos removal was part of that $119,000.

Also, the landscape around the fire station will be replaced by the LA County Fire Forestry Division.

When its doors open early next year on Pier Avenue, Villanueva believes it will allow more community engagement, which Hale said “that's always really important to us.”

“It allows our firefighters to interact more often with our community members,” Villanueva said.

“We don't have that engagement,” added Hale.

Hale said he has been involved in several city transition to L.A. County and said Hermosa Beach “has been the smoothest.”

“Because of the good working relationship, everybody was on board, prior to, and educated themselves on what the county can offer and us coming in being open minded,” Hale said.

Contact this reporter at mhixon@tbrnews.com or on Twitter @michaeljhixon.com.

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