The Woodward News

Local News

November 18, 2012

New central fire station could happen in 2 years

(Continued)

Woodward, Okla. — LOOK TO MOVE IN SOON

The city manager said he is expecting the construction to be completed within a year.

"I certainly hope we will be in the new station during calendar year 2014, I think that is achievable," he said.

Riffel used the new conference center's construction as a comparison, noting that facility was also given a 1-year timeframe for completion.

"The conference center was a larger construction and we were able to meet the timeframe on that project, so I'm confident we can do this in that time as well," he said.

However, he admitted that just as with the design and funding process, there are "variables" when it comes to keeping the construction on track as well.

"We want quality contractors.  But with so many busy contractors sometimes we don't get as many interested as we would like," Riffel said.  "But I'm confident with the scale of this project, it will generate interest."

LOOKING FORWARD TO MORE SPACE

For Fire Chief Steve Day the fire department can't move in soon enough as the new station has been something the city has needed for many years.

However, he said he understands that good things come to those that wait.

"Sometimes it takes patience to get what you need," he said.

And one of the things the fire department really needs, which the new station should provide, is more space.

"Right now we've outgrown what we've got," Day said.

He said this can be seen by the 2 fire vehicles sitting outside in the south driveway of the current station, as well as the department's hazmat unit which currently has to be kept outside at the Public Works parking lot on the far east side of town.

With the new station, the fire chief said all those vehicles should be able to be brought back inside the station, where they can be protected from the elements.

"Also we'll be able to bring our new 95-foot ladder truck to a central location so that it can be used to respond to all calls," he said.

Currently the ladder truck is housed at Station No. 2, north of the railroad tracks on 22nd St.

While excited about getting his current fleet indoors and in better locations, Day said that shouldn't be the only concerns when it comes to the size of the new station.

"I want to encourage them to build a big enough station to not only house the equipment we've got now, but also to be able to accommodate future growth," he said.

Riffel said he anticipates the new station will be about 13,000 to 15,000 square feet.

The current central fire station is "roughly 10,000 square feet," he said.

While an additional 3,000 to 5,000 square feet might not sound like much of an expansion, the city manager said that "properly configured, that 13,000 to 15,000 square feet will provide much better use than the current facility."

"The design and configuration of space will play a lot into ... the most likely footprint we're going to have," he said.

Day said he is "looking forward to working with the committee on those design plans."

"It's great that they have the firefighters involved in deciding the direction this needs to go," he said.  "It's our one shot so we want to make sure it's right."

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