Block, brick backed for Suamico fire station
By Kevin Boneske
SUAMICO – The village board doesn’t want to be penny wise and pound foolish when it comes to the exterior of a new Fire Station No. 1.
The board voted unanimously Monday, Jan. 6, to direct the village’s building consultants to proceed with a block and brick veneer exterior design for the facility.
Representatives from Five Bugles Design, the project architect, and Zeise Construction, the construction manager, discussed four options for the fire station’s exterior.
The village is seeking to keep the overall project cost under $6 million.
The board last month asked for a review of having more diverse external materials than brick and stone for possible cost savings.
The design plans presented by Five Bugles for the apparatus bay listed an estimated $600,000 total cost for block and brick, which has a projected life span of 60-plus years, compared to steel with insulated metal panels or frame pre-engineered metal buildings costing up to $460,000 with a projected life span ranging from 20 to 25 years before requiring exterior work.
Laura Eysnogle, project manager with Five Bugles, said the advantages of the brick system include a long life span, limited long-term maintenance and sturdy construction for inclement weather.
“I think the biggest disadvantage, in terms of what you guys are looking at, is that it is the most expensive facility,” she said. “But it is a very sturdy building. It’s something you can be very proud of.”
Eysnogle said the block and brick option would provide the “strongest apparatus bay construction, in order to keep your fire apparatus equipment safest, in terms of a bad weather event.”
Trustee Sky Van Rossum said saving up to $160,000 in construction costs with other options not as sturdy as a block structure would be “penny wise and pound foolish.”
“It was a learning experience for me as I dropped by many buildings and seen block structures versus metal…,” he said. “Those metal flashings or side panels are going to get bumped or scratched or dented or replaced. To me, I’m 100 percent on board. If I’m going spend money, I’m going to spend it here on a full block building.”
Trustee Dan Roddan said he agreed about the village needing to be “wise when it comes to the exterior of the building.”
“You can do all those niceties – again, those are the things that we can cut out as long as our building is structurally sound and will stand the test of time,” Roddan said.
Five Bugles designed the Fire Station No. 1 project to have two stories with 20,500 square feet, including a living quarters of 6,050 square feet.
The base bid design 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.
Five Bugles, which previously put together a feasibility study on the construction site at the intersection of Deerfield Lane and Riverside Drive, 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 emergency medical service, for which the firm concluded the site for that type of facility would be adequate for 50 years.
The design schedule calls for releasing plans for bidding in February, receiving bids in March and awarding construction contracts in April.
The Fire Station No. 1 project is scheduled for completion in early 2021.