by Jennifer Sierra
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On a visit this week to the Bellevue Dayton Fire Department, we met with Chief Mike Auteri to discuss the working and living conditions of the firehouse. We checked out the progress on the new bathroom renovation. The old bathroom in the basement has 1 toilet, 1 shower and 1 sink. The old bathroom on the upper level also had 1 toilet, 1 shower and 1 sink. The new $60,000.00 bathroom, once finished, will have 2 wall-mounted toilets so it will be easy to clean under them. There will also be 2 showers stalls and one dry dressing area opposite the showers. The toilets and urinal will have their own room across form the shower area. New mold-resistant drywall and studs will replace the old studs and drywall.
John from Century Construction was working on the project and had most of the walls torn out. The bathroom pipes on the upper floor were leaking down into the bathroom in the basement. There was mold on the old drywall that had been torn out as well as on the pipes, and studs. The walls and ceiling not only had mold on them but moisture came through to the other side of the inner walls and calcified in white clouds that almost looked like white cotton candy had been spun onto the walls. The moldy odor was apparent as well. It was easy to understand why this project was listed on Chief Auteri’s 5-year wish list and was a top priority.
We moved on to the existing bathroom in the basement, which is the only working bathroom right now due to the renovation. It has a small shower with white tile and a 5 to 6 inch ring of mold all along the bottom of the shower. The rest of the shower looked surprisingly clean considering how many people use it daily. The toilet they use had the drywall removed above it because the mold from the bathroom above had collected onto the drywall in a solid black mass. All 6 fire fighters, including 1 female, are expected to use this one bathroom and toilet for now. There is one additional port-o-let in the garage they use and again it was amazingly clean with no foul odor. The Chief said next year, he would like to have the bathroom in the basement remodeled as well.
The fire station is peppered with areas where water is leaking in from the outside. There are visible signs on the ceilings where the rubber roof on the station is failing. It is only a matter of time before this will need to be addressed since one of the leaks is coming through a light fixture. The Fire Station is located in the city of Dayton, Kentucky but serves citizens in Dayton and Bellevue. The fire station rents the building from the city of Dayton for $1.00 a year.