Calif. fire department plans new $500k firehouse

The 15,000-square-foot, four-bay station will include room for a training tower and fire headquarters

The Press Enterprise

HIGHLAND, Calif. — Highland will build a new fire station west of City Hall capable of housing a large ladder truck.

The City Council, sitting as Highland's Redevelopment Agency, voted this week to award a $522,650 contract to STK Architecture to design the station and prepare bid documents.

City Manager Joe Hughes told the council he expects the design phase to take six months and the project to go out to bid some time next year.

The 15,000-square-foot, four-bay station will include room for a training tower and fire headquarters, he said, along with a kitchen, meeting rooms, gymnasium and sleeping quarters. It will also have a 576-square-foot storage building.

The station is to be built on land that once housed a post office and library.

In response to questions from the council about the city's ability to finish the project, Hughes said Highland has $5 million in a variety of funds to help pay for the station. The actual cost will not be known until the design is completed, he said.

Councilwoman Penny Lilburn noted that the city is taking advantage of the slumping construction industry to build the station for less money, as it did last year when it saved $2.2 million in bids on a new police station.

The fire station will replace a smaller, three-bay building across the street from the police station.

"It's an older station," Hughes said by phone after the meeting. "It was built back in 1980. It was essentially a modular building, or a mobile home, that was set down on a permanent site."

The bays are too short to contain a ladder truck, city officials said. Such a truck will be necessary as the city adds new shopping centers.

The council has yet to decide what will happen to the existing station once the new one opens, Hughes said.

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