Stadler Rail picks Salt Lake City for new rail plant

Image by: STADLER



Standard-Examiner reporter



CLEARFIELD — A Swiss train manufacturing company that had eyed Clearfield as potential location for a new plant that’s to create as many as 1,000 jobs has selected a site in Salt Lake City instead.


Stadler Rail sent out a media invite Monday for a groundbreaking ceremony for its new planned Utah plant and the location sits west of Salt Lake City International Airport, at 150 South 5600 West. The ceremony, which will tentatively feature comments from Utah Gov. Gary Herbert and U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, is set for Friday.


“It is a disappointment,” said Clearfield Assistant City Manager J.J. Allen, part of the team of Clearfield and Davis County officials that had tried to lure Stadler to a site near the Utah Transit Authority FrontRunner station in Clearfield. “We had high hopes for that project.”


Stadler officials didn’t offer any additional comment Monday, but Allen — informed of the decision about 10 days ago — said land availability was the main factor in the decision to go with Salt Lake City.


“The main factor, above all else — availability of land,” Allen said. Stadler has more potential land around the airport than what would be available in Clearfield to develop its plans.


Stadler plans to build a new facility in Utah to comply with a $551 million contract to build commuter trains for Caltrain, the commuter rail system linking San Jose and San Francisco in northern California. It also hopes to explore other contracts in the United States and plans to employ up to 1,000 people at the Utah plant in years to come.


All along, Stadler officials had said Clearfield was only a potential location. That came into clearer public focus last July after Ogden Mayor Mike Caldwell drew fire from many for a proposal he helped promote to lure Stadler to a location near the Ogden Nature Center. The proposal was later scuttled, but Allen acknowledged at the time that a site near the Salt Lake City airport was another contender for the Stadler plant.


Clearfield had proposed construction of the Stadler plant on 28.5 acres of UTA land adjacent to the city’s FrontRunner station. That required clearance from the UTA Board of Trustees — Clearfield proposed buying the property from UTA and then re-selling it to Stadler — and prompted intense debate over the summer before UTA officials agreed to the plan.


Now, Clearfield and UTA officials will have to revisit how to develop the land around the Clearfield station, still in UTA hands. To that end, Allen said a Clearfield City Council work session is set for Oct. 17 to discuss alternatives for the property moving forward.


Like land around other FrontRunner stations, the Clearfield property, before the FrontRunner plans emerged, had been a transit-oriented development, or TOD, property. More specifically, it was earmarked for development meant to bolster UTA ridership.


“Art in Architecture” organized by the AIA Northern Utah Section



Shepherd Union Gallery

Shepherd Union Building at Weber State University

3910 W Campus Dr, Ogden, UT 84408



Friday, November 6, 2015 6-8pm - Ogden City Art Stroll & AIA event


Design Principal Shane Sanders from Sanders Associates Architects along with some local artists participated in an Art show at Weber State University highlighting art & architecture. The exhibit invited architects and artists to encourage a dialogue and collaborative spirit among the two professions and to show how art can inform and influence architecture and how architecture can inform and influence art?


The objectives of the exhibit:

• Learn a variety of styles and mediums to produce art and architectural renderings.

• Analyze the relationships between art and architecture.

• Experience art as a communication of architectural concepts.

• Evaluate the benefits of collaboration between artists and architects.

Firefighters break ground on upcoming, modern station

TUESDAY, JULY 21, 2015 - 9:59 AM



Image by: Brian Wolfer/Special to the Standard-Examiner


By Andreas Rivera

Standard-Examiner reporter


OGDEN -- After 70 years of use, the Ogden Fire Department’s sub-station #3 is getting a new location and building, upgraded with modern accommodations to better serve the Ogden community. Officials from the Ogden Fire Department and Ogden City kicked off construction with a ground breaking ceremony with a firefighter twist.


The station, nicknamed the “Pioneer Station” and built in 1946 is the oldest facility Ogden Fire still uses.In 2007, an audit determined that the department had a weakness in coverage of the northeast sector of the city which the station services. Standing in a small lot alongside Washington Boulevard at 336 South, the building is landlocked and unable to receive a renovation, prompting Fire Chief Mike Mathieu to push for a new building.


The city acquired the property located at 450 E. North Street in 2012.


“A lot of things have changed. We no longer call our firefighters ’firemen,’ ” Mathieu said, explaining that the new building will come with private dormitories to accommodate firefighters of both genders.


The previous station’s truck bays were built much more narrow and barely fit the department’s larger trucks. Captain Rich King said they use the station on the driving test for new drivers. Certain trucks would only have an eighth of an inch on either side.


“If you can back into Station 3, you can back into anywhere,” King said.


Mathieu noted they’ve had multiple accidents over the years involving fire vehicles exiting and pulling into the station’s short driveway.


The new station will be the second new facility built since the early 70’s, the other being the Ogden Public Safety Building that was completed in 1999. It will also be the largest station, staffing seven full time crew members at all times.



Ogden City Fire Departmen break ground on the brand new Fire Station being built in North Ogden. The ceremony took place on Monday, July 20, 2015 in North Ogden.


According to Ogden city’s tentative budget for the 2015-2016 fiscal year, $2,636,100 has been allocated to building the station.


Other features will include a museum dedicated to the history of Ogden city and its firefighters, and a community classroom which will be open to the public for various uses.


Mathieu said the new building will be modern, energy efficient and most importantly, comfortable for the firefighters, who spend so much of their time there.


“It’s pretty difficult. When you think about it, a firefighter spends one-third of their life at their job, so we want it to be comfortable for them.” Mathieu said.


Paramedic Kendall Iverson spoke at the ceremony and said the new building will help improve the firefighters’ performance.


“Overall I think Ogden city firefighters have a good attitude, but I think a new Station 3 will make their attitude even better,” Iverson said. “As firefighters, EMT’s and paramedics, we can’t really allow ourselves to have a bad day. We owe it to our citizens to be ready for anything that we’re called upon. The problems that we have to solve involve people’s lives and people’s homes and these problems won’t wait for our attitudes to change.”


Mayor Mike Caldwell and City Councilman Rich Hyer thanked all involved for making the new station possible and congratulated Mathieu on seeing the project through.


Every firefighter and city official got a chance to shovel dirt on the site of their future home as towering ladder trucks shot water into the air in celebration of the new station.


Slated to be completed May 27, 2016, the firefighters of Station 3 have 10 more months in the old building.

Return of the Dragon: Iconic sign goes back up on 25th Street

FRIDAY, JANUARY 30, 2015 - 9:25 AM





By Mark Saal

Standard-Examiner reporter


OGDEN — The folks on Historic 25th Street haven’t been this excited since the repeal of Prohibition.


They’re calling it “Return of the Dragon,” and it’s not just a classic Bruce Lee martial-arts film. It’s also a well-deserved party for a long-very-nearly-lost friend.


The neon dragon sign that for more than 60 years loomed over the Star Noodle Parlor on 25th Street is finally back where it belongs. On Monday, crews from YESCO, the company that built the original sign, returned the dragon to its rightful place on the famed downtown Ogden street - whence it had been missing since 2008.

And now, on Friday, Feb. 6, a “Return of the Dragon” celebration is planned. At 5 p.m., refreshments will be served at the building at 225 Historic 25th St., including a “reinvention” of the famed shrimp salad that the Star Noodle Parlor used to serve. Then, at 5:30 p.m., comes the moment folks have been anticipating for more than six years: Following brief speeches by the appropriate dignitaries, the dragon will officially blaze back to life when a switch is thrown, exciting the dragon’s colorful neon tubes.



Carolyn Brierley, executive director of the Historic 25th Street Business Association, said her association’s members are all abuzz about the return of the neon dragon to its rightful place on the famed street.


“It’s pretty exciting,” Brierley said. “This is really a famous sign; I had no idea it was such an iconic landmark, even outside Utah. I think it’s going to bring us several visitors. We’re excited it’s going back in.”


In 2007, the Star Noodle Parlor building was sold, and the following year the dragon was removed for renovations to the sign and the facade. The dragon was supposed to go back up on the building later that year, but instead went into storage.


“It was going to be a temporary removal, to find out what was behind the fake storefront,” said Greg Montgomery, planning manager for Ogden City. “But then the economy went in a different direction.”


What was going to be a quick turnaround dragged on for months, and then years.


“We were just waiting for the economy to turn,” explained building owner Thaine Fischer.

According to Montgomery, the building went up in 1912, and housed both live theater, and later, a projection theater. It was originally called the Revere Theater. The following year it became the Cherry Theater, and then from 1914 to 1933 it was the Rex Theater, Montgomery said. It became Star Noodle Parlor in 1948.


The dragon sign wasn’t a part of the original building, so it didn’t qualify for historical status — and therefore any financial help through tax credits, according to Montgomery. As a result, Fischer admits renovating the dragon was “very expensive.”


“The sign itself is an iconic sign for the community,” Fischer said. “Unfortunately, it doesn’t meet the criteria for a historical sign. … It’s iconic, but not historical.”


So then, why restore it?


“It was a community investment,” Fischer said. “When we bought the building, we loved the sign. It’s just an iconic sign that we love.”


For its part, the Landmarks Commission just wanted to make sure the dragon returned to 25th Street, according to Montgomery.


“What the Landmarks Commission didn’t want was for the sign to be removed and forgotten, where the owners say, ‘Oh? What sign?’ ” Montgomery said. “We’ve had others on the street take down signs and take them with them … although nothing as iconic as the dragon.”


The excitement about the return of the dragon has been building for quite some time now. Barbara Taylor is marketing director of R&O Construction, the Ogden company hired to do the renovation at 225 Historic 25th St. She says once folks found out R&O was doing the renovation on the old Star Noodle Parlor building, they were inundated with questions about the beloved dragon.


“We’ve had so many people asking us about it - ‘When’s it going in?’ ‘When’s it coming back?’ ” she said. “People are pretty excited.”


Because the building — which was actually two buildings with a common facade - sat empty for so long, there were some structural issues, according to Taylor. The company also had to level the sloped theater floor, and a tunnel was discovered beneath the building.


Fischer says a Salt Lake City restaurant, Pig & a Jelly Jar, will be opening a second location on the main level. An IT company will be housed upstairs. Other tenants are pending.


The original neon dragon sign was built by YESCO, of Salt Lake City. YESCO president Steve Jones said his company is honored to have handled the restoration of the dragon.


“YESCO had its beginnings in Ogden, in the early 1920s,” Jones said. “We played a role in 25th Street — including this sign — so this is a real treat for us.”


YESCO’s Steve White was the project manager for the dragon restoration. The neon wonder was delivered to YESCO, on a pallet, on Nov. 19, 2013, according to White, and he oversaw a crew of 10 to 12 people who completed various phases of the restoration.


White says it was pretty much a labor of love.


“For every hour I spent on the clock, working on it, I easily spent another hour off,” he said.


White figures he’s got about 200 hours, himself, invested in the project. The sign, which is about 10 feet tall and 12 feet long, includes more than 250 feet of neon, involving 68 separate pieces of neon tubing. It’s powered by 12 neon transformers, each with its own circuit.


“I’ve worked here since 2006, and this is easily the most complicated sign I’ve ever worked on,” White said.


During the restoration, workers carefully removed several layers of “skins” — metal coverings placed over the sign with each subsequent change in name. White says the “Rooms” reference restored to the current sign was on the original.


“We found something in the neighborhood of 10 coats of paint on the sign,” Jones said. “And I think we’ve maintained this sign since we first put it up.”


Although they can’t be certain exactly when the dragon was built, judging from the methods used, White guesses it was created “somewhere in the late ’30s or early ’40s.”


And the newly restored neon sign is getting glowing reviews.


“It’s great. They did a great job,” Montgomery said. “It’s been one of those missing pieces on 25th Street — this was the final missing piece.”


Taylor praises the fact that “it’s been all local involvement,” from the architect, to the construction company, to the sign restoration company.


“We’re excited because it’s a part of Ogden’s history, and we’re delighted to be a part of it,” Taylor said.


Added Fischer: “I think everybody, including ourselves, is excited to put the sign back up. I cannot wait to see it up there.”

Hospital mural depicts Benedictine nuns in service

MONDAY, DECEMBER 01, 2014 - 5:15 PM

























Image by: Briana Scroggins


The new 40 foot mural in honor the Sisters of St. Benedict at the Ogden Regional Medical Center on Friday, November 28, 2014.



Standard-Examiner correspondent


WASHINGTON TERRACE - The Sisters of St. Benedict did everything for patients at Ogden Regional Medical Center, from rocking babies to baking bread.


That’s right. They even baked homemade bread for patients. If you don’t believe it, there are pictures to prove it.


A 40-foot-long mural, now spanning the hospital entryway, depicts the history and mission of the nuns who worked there for several decades. Photographs from hospital archives, blown up to as much as six feet tall, show the Sisters doing what they did best - treating the sick as if they were Christ in person.


“As part of our remodeling and renovation we wanted to have some space to dedicate to our Sisters,” said Craig Bielik, Ogden Regional marking director. “So we decided to dig into our archives and pull out some old photographs showing them in action and reiterating their creed.”


Last week, the hospital unveiled the mural with Sister Stephanie Mongeon in attendance. She said she was honored and thrilled to see the new look of the hospital. The hospital recently underwent a $5 million renovation, changing its look from white brick to brown stucco. The hospital also has additional parking space, more natural light and easier patient access.


“Never in my imagination did I dream that our hospital would look like this,” Mongeon said. “I’m thrilled that we’ve gone from the warehouse look.”


Bielik said the hospital hopes patients and visitors will enjoy the mural and remember the heritage and mission of the Benedictine Sisters.


“We want our patients to be reminded that this is what they should expect. Even though our Sisters are no longer with us, we still carry their mission to our patients,” he said. “A lot of work goes into patient care. It’s a total experience. The picture of them baking bread for our patients is a great reminder of that.”


The nuns of the Benedictine Order began in Ogden by establishing the old St. Benedict’s Hospital at the top of 30th Street in Ogden. The hospital moved to Washington Terrace in the 1970s and was renamed Ogden Regional Medical Center.


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