Oregon approves bid for Phase I of new fire station

Kelly J. Kaczala

        Oregon City Council recently approved a $358,020 bid from Buehrer Group Architecture & Engineering, Inc., Maumee, to provide architectural and engineering services for Phase I of the construction of a new central fire station.
        Phase I includes preliminary design/detailed construction plans and specifications, final construction plans and specifications, and bidding services. Phase 2 includes construction inspection and administration of the fire station.
        Besides Buehrer Group, the city received letters of interest from: App Architecture; Bergman Architects/Engineers/Planners; Beilharz Architects Incorporated; Brandstetter Carroll, Inc.; BSHM Architects, Inc.; The Collaborative; DLZ Ohio Inc.; McCall Sharpe Architecture; PMBA Architects;, Poggemeyer Design Group, Inc.; Poulos & Schmidt Design Group; Thomas Porter Architects; Stough and Stough Architects;  Virtual Design Studios and Williams Architect.
        The Fire/Rescue Department determined that the Buehrer Group Architecture & Engineering Inc., was the most qualified for the requested services.
        City council recently approved the issuance of a $6.5 million bond to fund the new station.
        “The last time we met, we were putting together a bond to build the station,” said Mayor Mike Seferian. “We have to design it and do everything we can to make this process possibly start in the spring. This is the first step to show that a new fire station will happen.”
        “We had an internal team that began this process,” said Administrator Mike Beazley. “We advertised and got qualifications. We looked at three finalists. Everyone on the team felt good with what we ended up with.”
Good firm
        Public Service Director Paul Roman said the Buehrer Group was “a very good firm.”
        It has done work for the city, including a new streets building, and concession stand in the recreation complex. “Our engineers can design things like utilities and there’s some savings there. I think it’s important to have a professional architectural firm do this. The needs of the fire department may be a little bit more unique.”
        Beazley said the city has asked City Councilman Tim Zale and Council President Dennis Walendzak to take the lead on council regarding the project.
        “I’m excited about this. We’re going to be hustling,” said Beazley.
        The city administration and city council, he added, will be talking back and forth to work through the process.
        “This is an exciting time,” said Zale, who is chairman of the Safety Committee. “I think this is a great project. We don’t get to do this very often. And we may not do it again. So let’s do it right.” 
        “What it means is that we will transition our department. It’s a step we’ve been waiting for. We don’t get to do it very often,” said Beazley.
        Although a final site for the new station has not yet been determined, officials are looking at public property located off Wynn Road between Navarre Avenue and Pickle Road.
        “It hasn’t been decided yet,” Beazley told The Press on Tuesday. “We are looking at property on Wynn Road.”
        The city currently has three fire stations with paid on call personnel. The new fire station would replace the station located at Wynn and Seaman roads, according to Beazley.
        One of the stations has a crew that is scheduled for 24/7 emergency service. The city wants the other stations to transition to a scheduled staff as well to improve response times. The fire department has been struggling with long response times of its volunteer force over the years.
        “We want firemen and first responders to be at the fire station when a call comes in instead of having people come from their homes to the fire station,” City Councilman James Seaman told The Press on Tuesday. “We want someone at the station. They’ll go out immediately. It makes sense. It’s quicker.  It will give us a shorter response time.”
        Beazley said the city is not moving towards a full-time fire department at this time.
        “We’re moving more towards a scheduled workforce. But it will still be a blended department,” he said.


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