Kettering fire station designs taking shape

The city of Kettering has hired App Architecture of Englewood to design two of four planned new fire stations and will unveil drawings and details to the public in November.

The first, Station 32, will be built at 3484 Far Hills Ave. It will replace the current Station 32 at 250 W. Dorothy Lane and absorb the district of Station 35 at 4121 Shroyer Road.

The second, Station 36, will be constructed on East David Road between Hempstead Station Drive and Glenstead Road. The current Station 36 is at 4500 Bigger Road.

The fire department reorganization and modernization will include reducing the number of fire stations in the city from seven to five.

Both new sites are vacant, although the Far Hills location, just north of the recently opened Carlyle House assisted living facility, was previously occupied by a medical office building that was demolished after the city purchased the land for $750,000.

The David Road property cost almost $876,000.

Among many other projects, the App firm has designed the City of Englewood fire station and a combination fire station and fire department headquarters in Madison, in Lake County, Ohio.

Jones said it’s “too soon” to do more than estimate the cost of the new Kettering stations. “We won’t have a solid number for cost per square foot until after the design phase is complete.”

City manager Mark Schwieterman has said the new stations will cost between $3 million and $5 million apiece, to be financed by the city’s emergency medical services fund, which accumulates fees charged for medical-related calls including ambulance transport to hospitals.

The city is close to acquiring the location for a new station in the northeast quadrant of the city and has identified some worthy sites for a new west district building. “We haven’t made any offers there yet,” Jones said.

“We hope to break ground for the Far Hills station in late summer of 2014 and then a few months later on East David.

Jones said the goal for each of the stations is to have them “blend in with the community and add to it.”

“Carlyle House, a building re-use, “is a good example. It’s timeless architecture, not something that responds to a fad,” Jones said. “The stations will utilize brick and stone. We think they will stand the test of time.”

The new stations have been planned by a design committee that included residents of the Far Hills neighborhood, as well as fire and city officials. Citizen inclusion has helped soothe opposition, protests and petitions against the station more than a year ago.

The first two stations “will mirror each other in some aspects, but there will be some differences related to specific functions that will be housed in each,” the chief said.

The city has also budgeted up to $50,000 to hire a commissioning agent for both stations to be sure the architecture and design of the buildings is fully implemented.