PRESS RELEASE - December 20, 2017 Saint Patrick’s Seminary has agreed to sell one acre of adjacent land to the Menlo Park Fire Protection District for the future expansion

After a decade of discussions, Saint Patrick’s Seminary has agreed to sell one acre of adjacent land to the Menlo Park Fire Protection District for the future expansion, modernization and replacement of Fire Station 1, located at 300 Middlefield Road in Menlo Park for $6.6 million dollars. The purchase includes additional land along Middlefield Road and some behind the station that stops short of the residential neighborhood on Santa Monica Avenue. The Fire District is finishing up the rebuilding of Fire Station 6, located in downtown Menlo Park and plans to build a similar looking, but larger, Fire Station as its hub facility that will include enough space for multiple fire units and personnel along with administrative and specialized training functions.

Fire Chief Schapelhouman said “the current facility was built in 1955 and is a series of remodels and additions. Its configuration and design has always limited our ability to purchase fire equipment because of the lower ceiling heights and shallow depths of the back in apparatus bays. The attached wood training tower is problematic and limits actual training evolutions and the common stairwell between a sub-surface “smoke room” which connects to the second floor crew quarters and has never made practical or safety sense. The Station was damaged in the 1989 Earthquake and was somewhat renovated with an interior seismic metal frame but its actual resilience and ability to survive another strong earthquake is questionable”. Station 1 is the Fire District’s third busiest station for emergency responses but it’s busiest overall for critical daily support functions like training, administrative support, resupply and other crucial emergency support like breathing air and oxygen for all seven District Fire Stations.

3% of its coverage and response area is in East Palo Alto, 9% is in Unincorporated San Mateo County (Menlo Oaks), 34% is in Atherton (Lindenwood) and 54% is in Menlo Park which includes the Willows neighborhoods and large campuses like the VA Hospital, USGS, SRI International, Menlo Park City Center, MA High School, Nativity School and Church, Vallombrosa Center and of course the largest and most historic of all, Saint Patrick’s Seminary.

In the last year the independent Fire District which provides essential Fire and Emergency Services to its areas in the Town of Atherton, Cities of East Palo Alto, Menlo Park and Unincorporated San Mateo County has purchased other “strategic land and building assets” in the communities it serves. In June it purchased land behind and next to its Fire Station in Atherton for $4.6 million dollars in what was a sale of opportunity when the longtime owner decided to move away. In September it purchased a 28,000 square foot warehouse on over an acre of land in East Palo Alto for $5 million dollars after another buyers deal fell through. The District plans to relocate its Special Operations functions, including the National Urban Search and Rescue Task Force (One of only 28 in the Country), which is currently renting warehouse space on the Willow Facebook Campus. That campus is now planned for new future Facebook development.

“It’s been a big year for us in terms of strategic land and building acquisition that will pay off in the years ahead. Land acquisition is crucial to our ability to properly expand existing essential service facilities for future growth along with directly addressing evolving service demands and challenges. It also allows us to not only properly serve our local communities by growing and modernizing existing Fire Stations, but also the region and Nation will be better served because we will now own our Special Operations Warehouse and facility” the Fire Chief said.

Full Article: St. Patrick's Sells Land to Menlo Park Fire - December 20 2017.pdf

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Please credit Menlo Fire for the attached Aerial Drone photograph of Fire Station 1

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