Cascade Township, Michigan, May 12, 2022 –
During its Wednesday meeting, the Cascade Township Board unanimously gave approval to move forward with the new Fire Station 1 design and budget.
The decision allows the new Fire Station 1, which will be located at 2865 Thornhills Ave. SE, to prepare construction documents and bid the new facility. The board will meet in August to review and approve bids before construction can begin.
The new Fire Station 1 will feature enhanced safety features, additional storage, training space and other amenities designed to improve efficiency and meet or exceed national fire standards. Designed with extensive input from the community, the new Fire Station 1 will be 17,449 square feet of space, compared to 6,300 square feet in the current facility.
The new station has an estimated cost of $10.5 million and is designed to meet the Fire Department’s goals for the next 75 years. The cost of construction will be covered with funds already set aside and through a bond that will be paid utilizing existing revenues. The Township will not need to ask taxpayers for additional dollars.
Construction is slated to begin in September, with a final move in estimated for fall 2023.
“After a very thorough review, the Township Board has determined the new Fire Station 1’s budget and design will best meet our Township’s goals now – and for many decades to come,” said Fire Chief Adam Magers. “Based on the incredible work of our project team and Township officials – paired with great public input – we have created a plan that checks a lot of boxes for us in terms of safety and efficiency for our department and community.
“We cannot wait to break ground and welcome members of the community to share our new space with us.”
This decision is the next step in the project, which grew out of the Township’s 2018-19 Facilities Study where residents identified facilities used by the Cascade Fire Department as the Township’s top priority. Throughout the Fire Station 1 project, Township and fire officials collected community input through public engagement sessions, open houses and online surveys.
Before Wednesday’s regularly scheduled Board meeting, the Township hosted a community listening session that gave residents the chance to review architectural plans and budget estimates, connect with Fire Chief Adam Magers and the construction team, and share their thoughts in advance of the public hearing. The project team of Williams Architects and Triangle Associates Inc. presented the site renderings and budget to the Board as part of the approval process.
“We appreciate all the Cascadians who have been – and continue to be – so active, engaged and passionate throughout this incredibly important community project,” said Cascade Township Supervisor Grace Lesperance. “Together, we have created a plan that will properly support the needs of our phenomenal Fire Department while being fiscally responsible. This facility will serve our growing community for decades to come.”
The new Fire Station 1 aims to improve the Cascade Fire Department’s ability to respond safely and efficiently to fires and other emergencies while providing firefighters with secure and comfortable living quarters. The current station’s layout poses safety concerns for firefighters as living quarters are undersized and lack gender separation and decontamination areas are insufficient to clean equipment properly after call. The fire station was originally built in the 1970s as an insulation factory and does not meet current National Fire Protection Association standards.
After Township and fire officials spent months evaluating potential sites, the Board approved recommendations in March 2021 to rebuild and expand Fire Station 1 at its current location due to its easy access to response routes, ideal parcel size, suitable location to accommodate Township growth and lack of relocation expenses.
The current facility will be recycled to the extent it is able so the Thornhills site can be cleared and the new station built.
The new Fire Station 1 will feature:
- Four pull-through, double-deep apparatus bays for improved vehicle storage and operability when responding to emergencies.
- A hose tower with new training features for high-rise operations, repelling, window bailouts, confined space searches and ladder operations, among others.
- State-of-the-art emergency dispatching system designed to reduce response times and increase firefighter safety.
- A carcinogen exhaust capture system and decontamination areas for proper sanitation after exposure to harmful contaminates.
- Mechanical zones designed to create a buffer between living space and carcinogens brought in on clothing and gear after fighting fires.
- Private sleeping and changing quarters with gender separation.
- Space for staff and community training and events.
- Increased greenspace and landscaping.
- A new stormwater system that will comply with the Township’s new ordinance.
During construction, Fire Station 1 firefighters and staff will operate temporarily out of an air cargo facility at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport. The facility is in Fire Station 1’s response area and is large enough to house the required staff and apparatus to maintain proper coverage. Operations are slated to begin out of the facility in mid-August. Crews will also be staged within Fire Station 1’s response area to ensure adequate coverage during the temporary relocation.
More info on the Fire Station 1 project, including timelines, past presentations and FAQs, can be found here