Oak Creek heats up plans on new fire station

Construction could begin in late summer

March 20, 2013

Oak Creek - Residents and the city got a quick look at what the new fire station, a $3.5 million project, would look like at Tuesday's Common Council meeting.

The new Fire Station No. 1 is projected to be a two-story, four-bay facility and will be the new location for the battalion chief due to the projected high amount of call volume - it is predicted that nearly half the total fire calls for Oak Creek will be handled by the station.

The building will be located on a 1.5-acre, forested lot across from the post office on Centennial Drive and Howell Avenue.

The site also is friendly for trucks exiting the station, giving them time to change the traffic signal at Howell Avenue and Centennial Drive. Fire Chief Tom Rosandich said there is roughly half the amount of traffic at the proposed location verses the existing Puetz Road location.

"We've lived with the high school next door for about 50 years, so I think we can manage that area," Rosandich said.

Soil samples are slated to be taken at the site in the next few weeks now that City Administer Gerald Peterson got approval from all aldermen to construct the station at the site, which was donated to the city. The soil work is to test load limits, and actual construction could begin in August or September.

The plan, developed by Bray Architects, which is working on the design phase of the new city hall and library, has undergone multiple changes and is still in its preliminary stages. Changes could include adding a backup generator to the basement and a tower toward the back for training.

Bray Architects are is looking at the possibility of bidding the new fire station, city hall and library together to save money. Nothing is concrete yet, but they are flirting with the idea to perhaps cut costs on materials.

When asked by Alderman Dan Jakubczyk if Oak Creek's growing population will warrant another station in the future, Rosandich said, "It's driven by more than population, including traffic, call volume, response time and building development. So far with the three stations, we're serving adequately and the call volume can increase without increasing the number of stations."

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