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Source: Kokomo Tribune

Bids are in on fire station

Fishers firm presented low estimate at meeting

By Scott Smith
Tribune staff writer

Kokomo — Six bids came in on the future Kokomo Fire Station 2 this week, and anxious contractors won’t have to wait long to hear the city’s answer.

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

City officials are now looking over the bids to make sure they comply with the bid specifications before awarding a contract at next Wednesday’s board of works meeting.

“We’re excited this project is moving forward,” Kokomo Fire Chief Pat O’Neill said. “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 he expects the new station 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.

Axis designed Fire Station 1 in downtown Shelbyville, as well as Indianapolis Fire Department Station 14, near the Indianapolis Children’s Museum. Both stations won awards for design, Cooper said.

The building will be constructed in a way that allows for future expansion, and it will also have parking and office space for a Kokomo Police Department substation. Eight single-bed dormitory-style rooms will house the firefighters; each bedroom will have three lockers.

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.

• 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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