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Schematic design approved for Fire Station No. 1 in Suamico

By Kevin Boneske
Staff Writer

SUAMICO – A schematic design to construct a new Fire Station No. 1 on a 1.9-acre site at the intersection of Deerfield Lane and Riverside Drive was approved 6-1 Monday, Dec. 16, by the village board.

The board’s motion includes having the project’s architect, Five Bugles Design, proceed with the design development package with the selected building elevation option to include a review of having more diverse external materials than brick and stone.

Trustee Michelle Eckert cast the lone dissenting vote.

According to the information submitted by Five Bugles, the project is currently designed to have two stories with 20,550 square feet, including a living quarters area of 6,050 square feet.

The base bid includes five apparatus bays, while an alternative bid would add another bay with 1,500 square feet and make the total building area 22,050 square feet.

In addition, the overall footprint of the building has been designed to accommodate a potential building expansion of 6,000 square feet.

At right, Laura Eysnogle of Five Bugles Design speaks before the Suamico village board Monday, Dec. 16, as representatives of Five Bugles and Zeise Construction discuss a schematic design for building a new Fire Station No. 1. Kevin Boneske Photo

Compared to the concept design previously approved by the board, Village Administrator Alex Kaker said the schematic design reduced the overall square footage by 300 feet while the estimated cost is up $400,000 at $5.4 million.

“That’s to be expected in the sense that we’re getting… a better understanding of what’s actually going in this facility,” he said.

With the village seeking to keep the overall project cost below $6 million, Kaker suggested an alternative bid package so the second floor could be bid out as having an empty shell, rather than be completed, as well as four apparatus bays with a fifth being an add-on.

“What that will do is give us flexibility when the actual bids come in and we know what the interest rates are going to be,” he said. “There might be a $600,000 difference by not having those items in there, so that may help us in the long run.”

The new fire station is being designed to meet the village’s future needs for both the fire department and emergency medical service.

Suamico currently is served for EMS by County Rescue, which is housed in a separate building in the village, but is looking into being co-located in the new fire station under a lease arrangement and using space in the second floor of the building.

The board met in closed session at the end of the meeting regarding a potential lease agreement with County Rescue, but Kaker said no action was taken.

He said he expects the matter will be taken up again at a future board meeting.

Representatives from both Five Bugles Design and Zeise Construction, the construction manager, appeared before the board to discuss the fire station’s schematic design.

Much of the discussion with board members focused on materials for the project and what would be the difference in cost and durability using different types.

Laura Eysnogle of Five Bugles said stone and brick have been proposed the building’s exterior.

However, some board members questioned whether those materials would be needed and if less expensive materials could be used.

“I don’t think that’s needed,” said Village President Laura Nelson. “I‘m thinking I understand the want. I just don’t think there’s a need. I understand the aesthetic look of stone and brick. I think we can be more selective about where we put stone and brick…”

Nelson said constructing an entire fire station out of stone and brick along the size of what is being planned in Suamico would be “way too expensive, in my opinion.”

Eckert agreed about cutting costs.

“I want it to look good, but, yes, definitely (reduce the cost to build it),” she said.

Trustee Steve Andrews said he wanted to know the cost and longevity between different types of building materials.

Trustee Sky Van Rossum said he wanted to know how much the village would be saving with different materials, and their durability.

“If it’s a substantial amount, then I agree we need to look at something else,” he said.

Eysnogle said Five Bugles will look into how the fire station could be constructed and at different types of building materials.

Five Bugles, which previously put together a feasibility study for the village on the planned construction site, found the 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 EMS.
The firm concluded the site for that type of facility would be adequate for 50 years.

The design schedule Five Bugles provided to the village calls for board approval of the design development package in January, releasing the plans for bidding in February, receiving bids in March and awarding construction contracts in April.

The Fire Station No. 1 project is scheduled for final completion in early 2021.

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