The city of Rolling Meadows, IL recently debuted Fire Station Headquarters #15 and Fire Station #16 located approximately 5 miles apart. The goal of the much-anticipated project was to optimize services and response times to best serve the community. The Naperville, IL-based firm Healy Bender Patton & Been Architects (HBPB) won the bid for the contract to design both structures. Founded in 1935, the firm has maintained its goal of bringing practical, cost-conscious design concepts to its clients.
HBPB partnered with R.C. Wegman Construction Company (RCW) as a Design/Build team to develop practical, common-sense solutions for both fire stations to optimize first responder deployment out of the firehouses. Senior architect and project manager, Scott Rihel noted, “Every fire station design is a response to the owners’ requirements and needs. Projects evolve based on site constraints, plan organization, aesthetics, schedule, budget and a host of other factors.”
Rihel confirmed that city officials wanted the buildings to fit into the context of the surrounding area with materials that conveyed a strong, permanent appearance appropriate for fire stations. They also needed to combine both loadbearing and non-loadbearing walls. The HBPB/RCW team turned to the experts at Echelon, Oldcastle APG’s masonry brand, to explore masonry options for the project. “We had worked extensively with Echelon on past projects, keeping up with their new materials and research and development advancements,” he said.
With help from the Echelon team, Rihel chose Echelon’s Waterford Stone™ in London Gray in an ashlar pattern for the stations’ stone veneers with graphite colored Cordova Stone™ used for the trim accents. The versatility of Waterford Stone allowed for a great deal of design flexibility. The hand-cut stone gave Rihel the versatility to use a combination of load-bearing and nonloadbearing materials, all pre-cut at the Echelon Northfield plant. Waterford Stone was designed to evoke a natural, time-honed look with its beautiful, antiqued edges and textured face. A diverse array of colors and sizes are available to suit any design need, and its integrated color allows for a consistent, easy-to-follow blended pattern.
Cordova Stone concrete masonry units (CMUs) were used for the windowsills, tower sills, trim around doors, and to create the apparatus bay borders for both fire stations as well as the entrance doors. The architect explained, “We used the full thickness stone from ground up—25-30 feet high. Where it wasn’t bearing on the ground, we used a thin non-load bearing material that hung off the side.”
Cal Riegle, estimator and project manager with Midwest Masonry, contracted for the Station #15 Headquarters structure. He commented, “Waterford Stone tied everything together; it was easy to install alongside the other masonry units that we used. The design and skilled construction resulted in a remarkable, finished building.” Rob Solfisburg, Project Manager for Joe’s Masonry, had a similar reaction to the aesthetic appeal of the Echelon products on Fire Station #16.
“The arched openings provided a bold, striking focal point of the building. It gives strength to the municipality it represents. It’s a beautiful building.” When the new fire stations were completed in 2020, the community response was enthusiastic. Rihel commented, “The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive—the city loves it, and the firemen love it.”