More delays plague the opening of Fire Station Number Five on Greens Prairie Road in College Station. Last year several workers walked off the site saying the general contractor, Stephens Construction based in Texas City, was not paying them. The fire department has been adjusting to the delays.
All College Station fire chief R.B. Alley can do is walk around the new fire station for now. Construction delays have put the project on hold. So the fire department has had to make some changes to respond to calls.
“We’ve had to adjust our response areas. Obviously with the station not opening on time and also the fact that the feeder road is going one way it's impacted our response area down in the southern part of the city," said Chief Alley.
The station was supposed to be completed by last summer, but Stephens Construction has defaulted on the project and now a bonding company will take over. Several items still need to be done before the fire house can open, including drainage and concrete work.
Nine firefighters have already been hired to work at the new station, but all they can do is wait for they keys.
The fire station's completion date has been changed several times over the past year and a half. But now the city hopes a new construction company can get it finished by March.
Chief Alley says he's staying positive and hoping for the best outcome this time around.
“We’re very optimistic that it's going to be a successful venture in the upcoming weeks and we're very excited about getting the station open," said Chief Alley.
This isn't the only project Stephens Construction has caused delays on.
Huntsville is also having problems with the company.
Stephens was building a fire station on the city's west side. Now the city is negotiating a take over of the project with a bonding company. No crews have been working at the site since last November, citing non-payment. City council will take a look at possible solutions in February.
No one from Stephens construction services could be reached for comment.