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Source: Kokomo Tribune

City moving ahead on capital projects

Contracts awarded for fire station, bus station.

By Scott Smith
Tribune staff writer

— A mid-month groundbreaking is planned for the city’s new Fire Station 2 on Center Road, after the Kokomo Board of Public Works & Safety awarded a contract Wednesday.

Myers Construction Management Inc., Fishers, submitted the lowest bid at the Kokomo Board of Public Works & Safety meeting last week, beating competitors from Indianapolis, Zionsville and Noblesville.

Wednesday, the board made it official.

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Of the two projects, the fire station is the largest, expected to cost just over $2 million.

“We’re excited this project is moving forward,” Kokomo Fire Chief Pat O’Neill said last week. “It’s something we’ve needed since 1979. It’s great to be able to add that protection to the southeastern part of the city.”

The city hasn’t had a separate home for Engine 2 since abandoning the old station at Home Avenue and Union Street in 1979. The station’s operations were consolidated with Fire Station 1 when the current downtown station was built.

The city’s population peaked in 1978, but the area of the city has continued to expand since then.

O’Neill said the Kokomo Fire Department has struggled with response times to the southwest side in recent years. Currently, the fire station at Boulevard and U.S. 31 responds to calls from that area.

“I don’t think there’s been a former fire chief since Station 2 closed that hasn’t recommended a new station,” O’Neill said.

Kevin Cooper, an architect with Axis Architecture + Interiors, Indianapolis, said last week he expects the new station, to be located just east of U.S. 31 on Center Road, to be complete by next April.

The two-story, 12,700-square-foot building will have a steel and masonry structure, with both brick and split-face concrete block on the exterior. A “pseudo-tower” element will add street presence, while a vaulted, curved roof will be placed over the apparatus bay, Cooper explained.

The building will have parking and office space for a Kokomo Police Department substation, and eight bedrooms for firefighters.

O’Neill and Cooper said the bids came in close to the engineer’s estimate, apart from the Myers bid, which was under the estimate. Altogether, the margin between the high and low bid was about 12 percent, once the bids for eight alternates were factored in.

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• Scott Smith is a Kokomo Tribune staff writer. He may be reached at 765-454-8569 or via e-mail at scott.smith@kokomotribune.com

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