Construction of MFPD’s new No. 2 firehouse essentially complete

By MIKE ANTHONY

Construction of the Mehlville Fire Pro-tection Districts’ new No. 2 firehouse in Oakville essentially is done and district of-ficials now are focusing on selling the old fire station and land, according to board Chairman Aaron Hilmer.

Construction of the new firehouse at 5434 Telegraph Road originally was scheduled to be completed in February, but “the un-usually heavy rains we had last year pushed the date back,” Hilmer told the Call.

Ground was broken for the new firehouse at a June 13 ceremony, shortly after the board voted unanimously May 22 to award a contract totaling $1,274,030 to United Construction to build the firehouse at the corner of Telegraph Road and Whitshire Drive.

The fire district received 14 base bids for constructing the new firehouse with the lowest ones submitted by Schneider Con-struction of O’Fallon at $1,186,715.70 and United Construction of St. Louis at $1,190,000.

But Greg Garner of Archimages, hired by the district as an architectural and engineering consultant, recommended United Construction based on its experience and because Schneider Construction did not properly fill out the application.

In September, the Board of Directors discussed an updated construction budget, which includes a 7.5-percent contingency of $95,552.25, $15,000 for landscaping and $15,000 for an irrigation system, that to-tals $1,399,582.25. So far, $1,374,491.89 has been spent.

Before bids were sought, board members agreed that the maximum cost of the new firehouse would be roughly $1.792 million — excluding the cost of the land.

The cost of the one-story energy-efficient building with 6,554 square feet of space and three engine bays originally was estimated at $1.42 million.

Additional costs, including architectural and engineering fees, utility relocations, landscaping and furniture, fixtures and equipment, could total roughly $316,500. To date, $211,861.02 has been spent.

To date, board members have voted to approve four change orders totaling roughly $48,000, including one for slightly more than $6,000 that was authorized Friday.

During Friday’s meeting, Hilmer said, “… If anyone at home is keeping score, we initially budgeted about $1.716 million for house 2 and we are roughly at $1.585 million …”

“… We’re still within budget and there’s still some — the landscaping — there’s some areas where we’re still working on that will be some additional items …,” board Secretary Ed Ryan said, noting an additional change order could come before the board.

Ryan has played a hands-on role in the planning for the construction of the new firehouse and previously told the Call that it is being built without a tax-rate increase or any type of bonded indebtedness.

After deciding that the former No. 2 firehouse needed to be replaced because of its age and deteriorating state, the Board of Di-rectors purchased the property for the new firehouse from Darrel D. “Dean” Climer of Oakville for $600,000 in early 2007.

Fire and emergency medical service crews moved into the new No. 2 firehouse last week, according to Hilmer, who said district officials now are focusing on selling the old No. 2 firehouse at 5610 Tele-graph Road.

Proceeds from the sale of that firehouse will be used to start work on renovating the district’s No. 3 firehouse at 11625 Sap-pington Barracks Road and the No. 4 firehouse at 13106 Tesson Ferry Road, according to the board chairman.

The No. 3 firehouse was built in 1957 while the No. 4 firehouse was built in 1964.

An open house for the new No. 2 firehouse tentatively is scheduled for sometime in June.