Plans moving ahead for new fire hall on Broadway
By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican
After last week’s city council vote to proceed with a new fire hall on Broadway, the building committee within the Imperial Volunteer Fire Department (IVFD) met this week with its architect.
The council also voted last week to formally approve C G Architects of North Platte for the project, along with construction manager BD Construction of Kearney.
Stephen Granger of the architectural firm was in Imperial Tuesday, meeting with committee members over lunch.
Fire Chief Nick Schultz said they went over the building’s preliminary floor plans, making some minor changes to doors, windows and mechanical facets.
They also reviewed the building site north of the Lied Imperial Public Library on the empty lot owned by the city. That was to determine exterior concrete needs and existing infrastructure, such as light poles, that may have to be relocated.
The architect and construction manager will use the updated plans to get preliminary cost estimates, Schultz said.
“Both the council and rural board want to know what the building will look like and its estimated cost so they have some start on negotiating the cost split,” Schultz said.
Rural fire district board members gave verbal support last week to help pay for the new hall, which houses both city and rural fire equipment. The two groups will be negotiating on a cost-share formula with an Aug. 15 decision timeline set.
After that, the IVFD will be presenting public information meetings ahead of an anticipated bond issue vote in November.
Schultz said plans for the new hall at this time show 24-foot wide doors that will enclose three bays accommodating 12 fire truck/trailer units. Trucks will fit two wide and two deep in each bay, he said.
The plans also include a meeting room, “warming” kitchen, restrooms and mechanical/storage rooms.
For the past year, the city has also considered locating the new fire hall on the Wellington football field owned by Chase County Schools in an attempt to leave the Broadway lot open for possible retail development, at one council member’s suggestion. However, costs of infrastructure needs at the football field site and the purchase price were beginning to mount.
There was also interest in a suburban fire district, merging the two currently separate rural and city fire districts. After a couple months of study, that was put on hold last week although indication was given that’s something the city and rural board want to move toward eventually.