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