Norwalk Concrete Industries teams with Verti-Crete to deliver an ideal wall product for new, community-driven fire station in Ohio.
By Mason Nichols
For more than a century, firefighters in Norwalk, Ohio, called the fire station at 42 Whittlesey Ave. home. The station had served Norwalk admirably but, after 106 years, no longer provided the space or safety required for efficient operations. Thanks to a massive community effort – and a little help from precast concrete – the city opened a new 17,000-square-foot station last fall.
Construction of the new facility, located just down the road from the original building, was made possible thanks to donations from a variety of local businesses, including Norwalk Concrete Industries.
“This was a huge effort by local contractors to support the work and lower the tax burden for the community,” said John Lendrum, president of NCI. “We were proud to participate.”
NCI contributed many different precast products, including drainage structures, meter pits, a grease interceptor, Easi-Set Buildings and more. But it was the company’s above-ground donation, a 350-linear-foot Verti-Crete wall, that immediately caught the eye of Norwalk residents. The precast concrete wall, located on the northeast side of the property, acts as a barrier between the fire station and an adjacent neighborhood.
“You can imagine that light and noise would be a concern for the residents there,” Lendrum said. “Precast concrete is a great fit because it limits that light and noise while providing a strong, durable solution that doesn’t require a lot of maintenance.”
The quality of the wall is ensured thanks to more than a decade of collaboration between NCI and Verti-Crete. With that much experience together, every completed project benefits from a proven track record of engineering, formwork and installation. Additionally, NCI has installed the licensed Verti-Crete wall product on a diverse array of projects in the past, including everything from nursing homes in Ohio and Pennsylvania to large-scale highway work in Indiana. Those combined experiences add up, resulting in a trusted solution that the Norwalk Fire Department can rely upon for years to come.
Rob Duncan, mayor of the city of Norwalk, expressed his satisfaction with the quality of NCI’s work and Verti-Crete’s wall.
“The fencing exceeded our expectations in terms of attractiveness while providing screening for the station’s neighbors,” he said. “In addition, the fencing complements the building and provides enhanced security and egress from the station. The city remains grateful to NCI and all of our donors who made this project a reality.”
The number of organizations involved was also of particular importance to Lendrum.
“Contractors usually compete head-to-head with one another every day, but when it came time to complete a local project and support our Norwalk community, everyone was there with a shovel and tools ready to get to work,” he said.
The result of that work was $2 million in donations on a $5.5-million project, and a fire station that stands ready to serve the people of Norwalk for at least the next 106 years.
Mason Nichols is a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based writer and editor who has covered the precast concrete industry since 2013.