When Gainesville Regional Airport leaders decided to retire the airport’s aging fire station, they knew the replacement facility had to be safe, secure and attractive from above.
After all, most of the passengers who flew to Gainesville in north-central Florida would only see the fire station’s roof from the sky, as their planes took off and touched down. What Gainesville Fire Rescue Station 6 needed was a roof that was tough as nails but also matched the city’s image as a healthcare and education hub.
The choice was clear: A standing-seam metal roofing system that was engineered to withstand hurricane-force winds and designed to look beautiful.
Clayton Crosier, owner of Crosier & Son Roofing in Gainesville, said during the four-week job the crew transformed what could have been a dull municipal building into a shining star at the two-runway airport.
“The roof turned out great,” Crosier said. “It’s one tough roof. It’s not blowing off; I can tell you that.”
Not only does the new fire station roof meet stringent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) guidelines, it protects against anything Mother Nature can throw at it.
Making Way for A New Fire Station
The move to the new fire station, officially called an aircraft rescue and fire fighting (ARFF) facility, began in late 2016. With two major airlines —American and Delta — flying out of Gainesville Regional and steady growth in passenger loads, a new ARFF facility had to be ready for new challenges.
When the original 5,600-square-foot ARFF station was constructed in 1979, 180,550 passengers boarded aircraft at Gainesville Regional. By 2018 (the most recent data available), the number of passengers had increased to 236,019.
At the same time, the building needed significant renovations, including a new roof and repairs to the crew quarters, electrical systems and plumbing. Storage space was also tight, in large part because firefighting equipment had been getting bigger over the years. The new structure allows for wider fire trucks and also adds training space.
After studying the possibility of a renovation, the airport authority decided to build anew in a different location on airport property. The chosen site is near the control tower and has a direct view and access to the runways, which is critical to emergency operations. The construction, funded by a $3.8 million FAA grant, was completed in fall 2017.
In planning for the new 9,589-square-foot facility, Crosier knew the roof was required to meet local, state and federal specifications. Per FAA rules, the new building needed to be constructed with fire-resistant materials and have systems in place to control noise. In addition, the building had to be low maintenance and designed with energy conservation in mind, among other factors. Finally, local and state building codes specified that the structure be built to withstand hurricane-force winds.
Fire Station 6 Cleared for Take Off
To meet the standards, Crosier knew the roof had to be heavy duty. He chose Gulf Coast Supply & Manufacturing’s mechanically seamed roof system MegaLoc™ in the color Nevada Silver, which complemented the building’s white concrete-block construction. The roof’s 2-inch standing seams and 22-gauge thickness was perfect for the watertight capabilities and strength required.
To start the 114-square project, the Crosier & Son crew installed plywood sheeting over the existing steel joist system. On top, 5-inch rigid insulation with an R-value of 35 and high-temperature waterproof underlayment was installed. From there, the crew took meticulous care to custom fit the materials on site to prevent panel laps.
The roof was mechanically seamed at 180 degrees. Running the metal roof seamer was a two-person job, with one person at the ridge and the other at the eves overhang to ensure accuracy. Several weeks after the roof was completed, Crosier & Son returned to install the metal soffit, fascia, gutters and downspouts.
A Job Well Done
Since the construction was completed, the roof has successfully weathered severe weather, including Hurricane Michael in 2018. Looking back on the project, Crosier said he never doubted that the standing seam roof was a perfect fit for the ARFF building.
“With the size and scope of this project,” he said, “I am incredibly happy with the result of the hard work we all put in.”
Gainesville Airport Fire Station
Crosier & Son Roofing, Gainesville, Florida, www.crosierroofing.com/
Standing Seam Metal Roof: MegaLoc, Gulf Coast Supply & Manufacturing, www.gulfcoastsupply.com