Cascade Township, Michigan, April 28, 2022 –
Cascade Township is inviting residents to attend a community listening session 6-7 p.m. Wednesday, May 11 in advance of the regularly scheduled Board meeting where the new Fire Station 1 budget and design will be voted on.
During the listening session, residents will have a chance to review more detailed architectural plans and a more accurate budget estimate for Fire Station 1, connect with Fire Chief Adam Magers and the construction team, and share their thoughts in advance of a public hearing and Board consideration of the project.
During its Jan. 26 meeting, the Board selected a preliminary design for a new Fire Station 1, approving the project team to move forward with more detailed plans. During the meeting, the project team walked through the station’s preliminary interior design and two exterior alternatives.
The new station has an estimated cost of $8.5 million to 10.5 million, which has been impacted by market changes, supply chain issues and new ordinance requirements but still remains in line with similar projects around the state. 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.
If the design and budget are approved by the Board, construction could begin in September, with a final move in estimated fall 2023. The new fire station is expected to meet the Fire Department’s current and future goals for the next 75 years.
“We hope our community will again come out to share their thoughts, ask questions and learn more about this continuing process,” Magers explained. “We are committed to developing a new facility that meets our residents’ goals while being a safe and inviting place where our firefighters will work, train and live.
“We look forward to again hearing from Cascadians and working together to finalize plans for a new fire station that will serve our community well for decades to come.”
The May 11 Board vote is the next step in the new Fire Station 1 project, which is the result of the Township’s 2018-19 Facilities Study that identified facilities used by the Cascade Fire Department as the Township’s top priority. Residents prioritized Fire Station 1 as the top need among all the Township’s facilities.
Fire Station 1 serves as the Township’s emergency-response headquarters and shares a space with the Township’s previous Township Hall at 2865 Thornhills Ave. SE. 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.
Township and fire officials spent the remainder of 2021 completing the process of hiring a new construction and architectural firm to finish the project. After a series of public interviews and presentations, the Board selected Williams Architects as the project architect and Triangle Associates Inc. as the construction manager.
The new Fire Station 1 aims to improve the Cascade Fire Department’s ability to safely and efficiently respond to emergencies. The current station’s layout poses safety concerns for firefighters and the public, living quarters are undersized and lack gender separation, and decontamination tools are not sufficient to properly clean equipment after responses. The fire station was originally built in the 1970s as an insulation factory and does not meet current National Fire Protection Association standards.
Throughout the Fire Station 1 project, Township and fire officials have collected community input through public engagement sessions and online surveys. Most recently, the Cascade Township Fire Department hosted an open house that allowed residents to tour Fire Station 1, see the problems and areas of improvement firsthand and talk with Chief Adam Magers and his firefighters, along with the project team. A video walkthrough
is available for community members who were unable to attend the open house and want to view the current station’s shortcomings.
“We are deeply grateful for the residents who have continued to stay involved throughout the past two years and expressed what they would like to see in a new Fire Station 1,” said Cascade Township Manager Ben Swayze. “This is the largest capital improvement plan in our Township’s history, and we encourage residents to continue to walk alongside us and make their voices heard as we get closer to breaking ground.”
During the new fire station’s construction, Fire Station 1 staff will temporarily operate 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. Contingent on the May 11 vote, operations will begin out of the facility in mid-August.
More info on the Fire Station 1 project, including timelines, past presentations and FAQs, can be found here