Architect selected for new Suamico fire station
By Kevin Boneske
SUAMICO – Firefighters and others interested in plans to build a new fire station filled the board room Monday, June 17, when the Suamico village board considered the hiring of an architect.
Board members took public comments and then met in closed session for about 50 minutes before returning to open session and voting 7-0 in favor of hiring Five Bugles Design as the project architect for Fire Station No. 1 at a cost not to exceed $288,500.
In a related motion, the board also voted unanimously to place a tab on the village’s website for updates on plans to build the new Fire Station No. 1.
Trustee Dan Roddan said he based his decision to select an architect on facts about building a new fire station “that no one in this room disputes we need for our community.”
“The how we’re going to create it, where we’re going to create it, can all have discussion,” Roddan said. “But tonight we’re here to hire an architect to start that work, and to start giving us drawings of what this facility is really going to look like.”
Trustee Sky Van Rossum said the village needs a fire station to meet needs in the future.
“It’s not only here for today, it’s here for a long time in the future,” Van Rossum said. “So we have some decisions to make… Despite whatever opinions you may have or ideas you may have, we’re going to have to work together on this, because we’re going to have to make some decisions as a community.”
Five Bugles previously put together a feasibility study for the village related to the construction of a new public safety building for Suamico at a 1.9-acre site the village obtained at the intersection of Deerfield Lane and Riverside Drive, near Vickery Village.
The firm found the site location adjacent to Interstate 41 as being well-suited for response times.
However, based on size constraints, Five Bugles recommended only using the site for the fire department and emergency medical service, for which the firm concluded the site for that type of facility would be adequate for 50 years.
Village President Laura Nelson said the village needs to prepare for future growth “because we’re not a stagnant community.”
“We’re growing, and we have to identify ourselves as a growing community,” Nelson said. “I think with our decision we are setting ourselves up to grow as a community and protect, most importantly, protect our firefighters long-term.”
Though that feasibility study hadn’t previously been posted on the village’s website or included in a packet for those interested in doing the architectural work for a new fire station, Nelson said it was referenced in the request for proposals and could have been made available to anyone requesting it.
A local architect, Ben Schenkelberg, had been critical of the feasibility study not being provided to him when he inquired about the architectural work for the fire station.
Schenkelberg also spoke before the board and criticized the proposed site for a new fire station, saying it was too small and in the wrong place.
Board members also heard from representatives from Five Bugles.
Laura Eysnogle of Five Bugles said a fire station is more than a garage to house apparatus, and the firm designs the building “as efficiently and as functionally as possible.”
“We concentrate on how long it’s going to take people to get through the fire station to get to their personal protection gear to get out to the rigs as fast as possible…,” Eysnogle said.