The Murfreesboro City Council voted Thursday, Nov. 9 to approve $5.68 million for construction of a new Fire Station 4 on land owned by the City. Council approval authorizes a contract with Boyce Ballard Construction, LLC to build the station from funds appropriated in the 2016 and 2017 Capital Improvement Projects.
“The proposed location on a previous landfill serves the City with respect to prudent management of available land in the Gateway,” said Assistant City Manager Jim Crumley. “This land, owned by the City, though needing remediation, has little or no value for resell. Using the landfill site keeps other possible premium priced City-owned land choices available for corporate development.”
The contract with Boyce Ballard of Murfreesboro, which submitted the low bid, would include construction of Warren Street and utilities to extend to the site at 1321 Medical Center Parkway along the Stones River. The contract also includes site preparation for the old landfill property to include removal of debris and grading a flood plain.
“The relocation of Station 4 offers numerous operational capabilities,” said Murfreesboro Fire and Rescue Chief Mark Foulks, “The middle distance of approximately 2 miles between the City’s tallest building downtown and the high-rise Embassy Suites hotel, enables us to achieve Insurance Service Office (ISO) credit for achieving aerial apparatus response within 2.5 miles.”
MFRD recently added a new Sutphen 100’ aerial apparatus to respond to taller buildings, including St. Thomas Rutherford Hospital. MFRD also plans to relocate Rescue 7 and a battalion chief from Thompson Lane to the new Station 4 to centralize and improve response by Water Rescue and other technical rescue apparatus, including confined space rescue, rope rescue, trench and collapse rescue.
“The ability to immediately access the Stones River and Greenway to respond to rescue or medical emergencies is a tremendous operational advantage,” added Foulks. “Specialized teams could train on the property along the river for water, trench and rope rescue.”
The new Station 4 is also currently designed to include a small MPD precinct with storage space for Park Officers and a 4X4 vehicle for Greenway access.
Station Four would also house the newly refurbished 1892 Ahrens Steam Fire Engine. The horse-drawn engine with a coal boiler-powered pump will be stored and displayed at the new Station Four for educating the public on early firefighting technology. The Steam Engine is scheduled to be featured in the Christmas parade and other special events. The City Council authorized $124,347 to restore the Steam Engine, including woodwork, wheels, boiler stack and suspension repairs. For years, the Engine was housed out of public view in an open air shed at Cannonsburgh Village, resulting in its deteriorating condition. To watch a video of the Ahrens Engine, clickhttps://youtu.be/7yNe3SEadjw.
“Restoring the engine was a job worth doing,” added Crumley. “Murfreesboro Fire and Rescue is not just hanging onto yesterday; we are building tomorrow with a visual piece of firefighting history that few fire departments across the country can share with its citizens. We can take pride in displaying the first Fire Engine that Murfreesboro owned as a gift from the Nashville Fire Department.”
Murfreesboro Fire and Rescue proposed transferring Fire Station 4 (near Mitchell-Neilson School) at 1397 Jones Blvd. because it was built in 1959 and outlasting its usefulness. The facility’s height and length cannot house a large aerial and a female locker room and restroom could not be feasibly added to the existing structure.
The Bid Opening for construction of the new Fire Station 4 was conducted on Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017 with Boyce Ballard Construction, LLC submitting the low Base Bid of 5 submitted at $5,109,000. Add Alternate No.1 was included to the total amount of $5,185,000. $500,000 has been added as contingency for additional unsuitable soils or other unforeseen issues.
Architectural services, approved by the Council in February 2016, were provided by Johnson + Bailey Architects P.C. in the amount of $123,570.
Construction is expected to begin in late 2017 with completion slated by late 2018 or early 2019.