Northwest NEWS

February 8, 1999

Front Page

Projections for new fire station set cost at $3.5m

by Andrew Walgamott, staff reporter

   WOODINVILLE--It would cost an estimated $3.5 million to build the new downtown fire station as it was drawn up for the Woodinville Fire & Life Safety District. Plans presented to the fire board last week detail a 19,755 square-foot headquarters station that would give the district space to grow in the future, according to Chief Steve Smith.

   It features quarters for a crew of ten and a 2,000-square-foot training/meeting room that would also double as the district and City of Woodinville's Emergency Operations Center.

   If the board approves, fire engines and aid cars could race forth from a four-door bay as soon as late spring, 2000, Smith said. The board will discuss it Feb. 16, and has final say to approve or modify the design and costs. The station would be built at the district's property on Woodinville-Snohomish Road at the former site of Knoll Lumber, which was purchased last summer for $2.5 million.

   Add that to the cost of constructing and furnishing the station to get a total of $6 million for the new station. According to Smith, the district will be able to build without going to the voters for an excess levy. Funding will come from reserves and the sale of Station 31 in the city of Woodinville's northern industrial area. Reserves, as well as capital improvement funds from a previous bond issue, paid for buying the land.

   Building a new station would cost just $300,000 more than remodeling the Knoll building, Smith said. Still, costs have grown since last August when a consultant told the district it would cost around $2.2 million to build new. Even then, one commissioner suspected the land and structure package would cost at least $5 million. And with the design phase and cost projections completed, the total cost for the proposed station is now $1 million above that.

   "It sounds like a hellacious amount for a fire station," commented boardmember David Callon.

   Fire officials say that the new station would improve response times to the downtown area and would bring engine and aid cars closer to the Kingsgate area (backing up Station 34) which sees the highest number of calls. The district has been attempting to move downtown for several years. The new station would be just under a mile and a half from the one it replaces.

   There are actually two designs for the station. The major difference has to do with the positioning of administrative offices. One option has them next to the bays (with a wall in between) and the other has them further away. Smith said he preferred the second.

   The Fire Prevention bureau would be moved from City Hall to the new station, but if, and when, the city builds a new civic center, the bureau would go back to the city, freeing up room for growth, Smith said.

   Plans are on display at Station 31, 19900 144th Ave. NE.