By John Schaffner

Firefighters at Atlanta Fire Station 27 on Northside Drive in Buckhead have turned the newly renovated community room into their dorm while work proceeds on Phase II of the renovations. But they are not complaining.

Phase II, which began in early March, involves renovation of the dormitory area and its adjoining bathroom and is expected to take four to six weeks, said Marci Vincent, who chairs the committee of the Mount Paran-Northside Citizens Association that has spearheaded the project to make the living quarters for firefighters actually livable.

Buckhead citizens cut through red tape at Atlanta City Hall to fund a top-to-bottom makeover of the fire station, pouring nearly a quarter of a million dollars of their money and in-kind donations into the building. The door-to-door fundraising campaign, which began in September, had raised $223,519 by March 16 from Buckhead and Sandy Springs residents.

Under an automatic aid agreement, Station 27 gets the first call to incidents inside Sandy Springs that are closer to the Atlanta station than to any Sandy Springs station.

In Phase I, a new restroom was added off the community room. Daltile donated all the tile for the restroom and elsewhere in the project, association President Yolander Adrean said. General contractor Robert Lockwood is donating his services to the project.

Vincent said a dropped ceiling was removed from the firetruck bays and from the dormitory area because some panels were falling, and “a beautiful wood ceiling was exposed that had been covered up.”

Architect and Buckhead resident Paul Muldawer donated his services to the project. As part of the work, firefighters now will have individual cubicles for sleeping and keeping their personal items while on duty.

Air-conditioning ducts in the dorm area have been relocated above the reclaimed wooden ceiling. The bathrooms have all new fixtures, and linoleum flooring is being replaced.