Planners say residents will be proud of Station 72

July 7, 2009

By Warren Kagarise

EFR facility clears planning hurdle

City officials and architects are set to complete the design of Eastside Fire & Rescue Station 72, which will be constructed on a portion of the Issaquah Transit Center site. Contributed

City officials and architects are set to complete the design of Eastside Fire & Rescue Station 72, which will be constructed on a portion of the Issaquah Transit Center site. Contributed

Before a city Development Commission last week, Eastside Fire & Rescue Deputy Chief of Planning Wes Collins stopped for Chinese food — and received a hopeful sign. Commissioners were set to consider plans for Station 72, a long-overdue EFR facility. The message inside Collins’ fortune cookie read, “You will reach a goal for which you have been striving.”

Collins later told development commissioners how officials first identified a need for a fire station in the northwestern part of the city in 1986. Officials hope to begin construction on the new EFR facility in early 2010.

“We’re glad to finally have a facility in the planning and development process,” Collins said.

Commissioners discussed the Station 72 proposal July 1. City planners will ready the project for further design work and obtain development permits.

Station 72 will be built at 1575 N.W. Maple St., on the undeveloped northeast corner of the Issaquah Transit Center site. Emergency vehicles will circulate counterclockwise through the site, using the Maple Street entrance and the East Drive exit.

City officials budgeted up to $8 million to build the fire station. Project Manager Brad Liljequist told commissioners the station would be cost effective but also eco-friendly.

“Our hope is, this is a municipal facility and we want to be proud of it,” he said.

Plans call for the station to be built with 6,900 square feet of office and living space, and another 4,500 square feet for equipment and support space, including fire truck bays.

City planners sent notices to owners of nearby property; officials received no comments in reply.

Architect Brian Harris, of Seattle firm TCA Architecture, presented a clean, modern design for Station 72. City documents said the design would echo elements of the transit center and the nearby King County Library System Service Center.

Harris said sustainable features would support the mission of the fire station. Harris said the station architecture would reflect the commitment to green principles as well.

“We wanted something the community could be proud of, but at the same time we’re using good, durable materials that are going to last a long time,” he said.

The planned station would replace the outdated EFR facility at 1770 Maple St. Collins said the existing facility — built in 2000 — was intended as a temporary structure with a five- to 10-year lifespan.

In November, voters overwhelmingly approved a $4.5 million bond to build Station 72. On Dec. 1, the City Council authorized $235,000 to continue design work for the planned station.

Officials could release additional design money and approve a finance agreement related to Station 72 when the City Council meets July 20. Before design work can proceed, City Council members must authorize spending up to $1.1 million.

Reach Reporter Warren Kagarise at 392-6434, ext. 234, or wkagarise@isspress.com. Comment on this story at www.issaquahpress.com.

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