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Building 331

Rocky Flats Plant, Vehicle Maintenance Garage and Fire Station
HAER No. CO-83-Y (Rocky Flats Plant, Building 331)

Location:
Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site, Highway 93, Golden, Jefferson County, Colorado. Building 331 is located in the northeast corner of the intersection of Fourth Street and Central Avenue.

Significance:
This building is a primary contributor to the Rocky Flats Plant historic district, associated with the U.S. strategy of nuclear military deterrence during the Cold War, a strategy considered of major importance in preventing Soviet nuclear attack. Building 331, originally constructed in 1953, was designed and used as a warehouse. When the building became too small for parts storage, Building 331 became the plant's maintenance garage. In 1967, the fire department was added.

Description:
Building 331 is, generally, one-story high and built on concrete footings. Some portions of the building extend to two stories. The floor is an on-grade concrete slab. Exterior walls are constructed of either cast-in-place concrete or concrete block walls. The walls of the eastern portion of the facility (offices and bunkrooms) are of concrete block construction; the roof and second story floors in this area are pre-cast concrete. The remainder of the facility, including the fire station bay area and the vehicle maintenance garage, is constructed of cast-in-place concrete walls. A small addition at the northeast corner of the garage is constructed of plywood, corrugated asbestos-cement sheets, and corrugated metal panels.

The roof and floors in the east addition are pre-cast concrete T-beams. The roof over the rest of the building consists of cast-in-place concrete slabs, beams, and girders.

Floor coverings are either 12-inch vinyl floor tiles, painted concrete, bare concrete, or short-pile industrial carpet.

The windows on the eastern portion of the building are fixed within metal sashes. The west and north sides have multi-pane metal sash windows arranged in sets of four. The west side has one overhead metal door and the east and north sides each have two overhead doors. The south side of the building has a central bay containing three metal overhead doors.

The building area is approximately 19,760 square feet on the first floor and 3,780 square feet on the second floor for a total of 23,540 square feet. The building is configured in an L-shaped layout with the sides of the L being unequal in length and area. The dimensions are approximately 196 feet along the Central Avenue frontage and approximately 161 feet along the Fourth Street frontage.

The garage side of the facility houses approximately eight offices, seven workstations for vehicle repairs, an automotive parts and warehouse area, a break room, and changing rooms for plant personnel. The vehicle maintenance garage is the only site-wide vehicle service center and motor fuel distribution location at the plant.

All vehicles from the General Services Administration’s plant fleet and skid- or trailer-mounted internal combustion engines are serviced in the vehicle maintenance garage. The types of vehicles and equipment serviced include passenger cars and light trucks, heavy equipment (bulldozers, dump trucks, backhoes), and roads and grounds equipment (box scrapers, lawnmowers, mowing machines, tractors, weed eaters, snow blowers, and road cleaners). Vehicle maintenance personnel also provide routine preventive and predictive maintenance service on several large equipment items permanently located on site, including diesel electric generators, compressors, and other equipment. Complex jobs that require specialized equipment, such as engine overhauling and rebuilding, forklift maintenance, body work, and repairs valued at more than $100 were sent off site via subcontract arrangements.

The Fire Station side of the facility is divided into areas consisting of offices; a high-bay area that houses up to six firefighting and emergency response vehicles; three dormitory-type sleeping quarters; a lounge and kitchen area; a self-contained breathing apparatus compressor room; a building utility room with heating, ventilating, and air conditioning distribution equipment, a steam-supplied hot water heater, motor control center panels, and an uninterruptible power supply battery bank; a dispatch office; a training room with audio-visual support equipment; and a vertical hose cleaning and drying station.

All sitewide fire alarm signals, including all fire phones, fire pull boxes, heat and smoke detectors, and suppression system flow alarms, are transmitted to the Building 331 dispatcher’s office. There are 361 manual alarm transmitters (fire phones) on site. Lifting the receiver from the switch hook on any fire phone initiates a fire alarm in the building where the fire phone is located, in the dispatcher’s office, and in the central alarm station in Building 121. The scanners at the fire station and the central alarm station automatically show the location of the fire phone that initiated the alarm and the type of alarm being received (smoke or heat).

History:
Building 331, originally constructed in 1953, was designed and used as a warehouse. When the building became too small for parts storage, a new warehouse was constructed at another site location and Building 331 then became the site maintenance garage. Additions to the structure, including the fire department structure, were completed in 1967.

At one time, the northeast corner of the vehicle maintenance garage housed a technical staff and a uranium research and development laboratory. Rolling of enriched uranium foil was conducted there in 1964. This area may also have been used for the development of depleted uranium coating studies. After Building 865 came online in 1970, the area was converted for the development of remote handling techniques such as robotics and remote manipulator arms.

Sources:
Cable, Jerry, employed at the plant for 16 years by the site contractor. Personal communication, December 1997.

United States Department of Energy. Site Safety Analysis Report, Notebook 3, by EG&G Rocky Flats, Inc. Rocky Flats Repository. Golden, Colorado, 1994.

United States Department of Energy. Final Cultural Resources Survey Report (1995), by Science Applications International Corporation. Rocky Flats Repository. Golden, Colorado, 1995.

Historians:
D. Jayne Aaron, Environmental Designer, engineering-environmental Management, Inc. (e2M), 1997. Judith Berryman, Ph.D., Archaeologist, e2M, 1997.


Index to Photographs

Northeast corner of Fourth Street, south of Central Avenue, Golden Vicinity, Jefferson County, Colorado.

Photographs CO-83-Y-1 through CO-83-Y-2 were taken by various site photography contractors, dates are indicated in parentheses.

CO-83-Y-1 – View of emergency response vehicles parked outside Building 331, the vehicle maintenance garage, and the fire station. The building, originally constructed in 1953, was designed and used as a warehouse. Additions to the structure, including the fire department structure, were completed in 1967. (4/7/87)

CO-83-Y-2 – View of the dispatch office in Building 331. All sitewide fire alarm signals, including all fire phones, fire pull boxes, heat and smoke detectors, and suppression system flow alarms, are transmitted to the Building 331 dispatcher’s office. (3/77)
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