After months of planning, the city of Stephenville was presented a multi-million dollar plan for the relocation and construction of a new fire station by Dallas-based architects, Brown Reynolds Watford Architects, Inc. (BRW). The feasibility study, which was approved by the city council in June, was the center of Tuesday night’s Planning and Development Committee meeting.

The project detailed a more than 16,000 square foot facility with an estimated cost of more than $5 million, including an estimated construction cost of $260 per square foot and contingency planning costs, owners’ costs and fees and expenses totaling almost $1 million.

While the price tag raised a few eyebrows from council members, and questions were asked as to how the city would finance the project, committee chairman Scott Evans reminded the assembled crowd that the issue of approving construction and authorizing debt was not on the table for discussion.

The study, presented by BRW’s Gary DeVries, assesses the proposed site, a city owned property at Pecan Hill Drive and the Northwest Loop, and determines the project needs for the relocation of Fire Station No. 2 and the fire department’s administrative offices.  

Station No. 2 was built in 1976 and is located at the intersection of North Harbin Drive and West Frey Street. Department administrators currently work out of the Public Services building on North Belknap Street, which also houses the Stephenville Police Department.

The study was presented in three parts - site analysis and space program, facility recommendations and budget and implementation schedule.

“We try to create a vision and wrap a budget and schedule around it,” DeVries said.

The site analysis considers property boundaries, existing utilities, grading contours, location, context and vehicular access.

“It was determined that the property will adequately accommodate the proposed building and parking and also allows for future expansion,” DeVries said.

The site has city services, including water, sewer, electrical and communication lines adjacent to the site and has a total property area of 2.9 acres. 

According to the study report, the space program was developed to address the area requirements for administration, living and office quarters, fire equipment and apparatus and site elements.

The design incorporates three double bays, which would accommodate six vehicles and space for EMS storage, decontamination and bunker gear rooms, a shop and lawn equipment storage.

The living quarters can accommodate a staff of eight firefighters and captain per shift and includes a kitchen and dining area and weight and laundry rooms.

The administration wing includes six offices to accommodate the fire chief, training officer, fire marshal, fire inspector, administrative assistant and a potential future addition to the staff.  A training and conference area will accommodate 35.

Upon approval, DeVries said the entire project should be complete in 18-20 months.

Despite the hefty price tag, Fire Chief Jimmy Chew said the plans were developed in a way that would mean the city will not expand upon the design. He said if the time comes that the city has outgrown the station, it would be more likely that an additional station will have to be considered.

“We have designed the station to accommodate the department for at least 50 years,” Chew said.