Rocky Flats Plant, Vehicle Maintenance Garage and Fire Station
HAER No. CO-83-Y
(Rocky Flats Plant, Building 331)
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.
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.
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
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 Administrations 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
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
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
dispatchers 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 dispatchers 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).
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
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,
D. Jayne Aaron, Environmental Designer, engineering-environmental
Management, Inc. (e2M), 1997. Judith Berryman, Ph.D., Archaeologist, e2M,
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)