By Sherrye Wyatt
Special to the Record
South Whidbey Fire/EMS board of commissioners has selected Valdez Construction of Oak Harbor to build its new fire station in Bayview.
The company will serve as the general contractor for the project. Their bid of $5.7 million came just under the estimated project cost of $5.8 million.
Recent projects on Whidbey Island by Valdez Construction include a number of school constructions, upgrades and renovations at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island and the remodeling of the Star Store in Langley, as well as a new fire station for North Whidbey Fire nnd Rescue.
Carletti Architects from Mount Vernon was selected to serve as the design firm in 2010 and has been working on the project since then.
“The long-awaited project has been in the works for nearly 10 years and we’re excited to work with local businesses,” said Chief Rusty Palmer. ”We’re looking forward to breaking ground in the next month.”
All of the funds needed for the building were secured through bonds sold last year, including the additional 10 percent contingency funds and the $500,000 anticipated sales tax. The new station replaces an aging facility, relocates the department’s administrative offices from Freeland, and will eventually creates a new training center.
The old Bayview station will be converted into a maintenance facility and the Freeland station converted back to sleeping quarters. Although the department provides coverage 24 hours a day, reestablishment of sleeping quarters makes overnight coverage by out-of-district members more accessible.
The Bayview neighborhood can expect to see increased activity during construction, which is estimated to take about one year.
The new location is currently a grassy field next to Good Cheer. The new station is centrally located within the district boundaries and is expected to contribute to improved response time for first responders to emergency calls.
More information can be found at www.swfe.org