New Beatrice Fire and Rescue station estimated at $7.9 million

Published: Oct. 22, 2019 at 8:39 AM CDT
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An architectural and planning firm estimates the new Beatrice Fire and Rescue headquarters will cost just over $7.9 million.

J-E-O made a design presentation to the mayor and city council Monday night, on the more than 36-thousand square foot facility to be built along the east side of U.S. Highway 77, between Bell and Scott Streets.

Monday night, the council authorized issuing up to $7.25 million in bonds to be backed mostly by sales tax revenue, but also other sources and general fund revenue. Scott Keene is with Piper Jaffray.

"The final maturity of the bonds can be no later than December 1, of 2029. It's a ten-year amortization, which in the municipal bond world is a very fast amortization, so that's good. Rates are still very favorable right now....very this is a good time to be getting into the marketplace".

If interest rates are favorable, bonds could be refinanced after five years. The bonds can be issued all at once, or in a series.

As for the fire station that will replace the department in the municipal auditorium, Project Architect Marvin Larson of J-E-O says seven floor-heated fire bays would face the highway.

"You have seven bays for apparatus, all exiting onto Highway 77. And then three bays that will also have access off of Seventh Street, so those will be drive-through bays".

The new 300-by-300-foot station will sit by itself on a city block. Beatrice officials have been purchasing property for the project. Larson says access for fire and rescue vehicles directly onto the highway has met state approval.

Larson said, "We may be looking at some type of lighting for control along Highway 77, when there is a response".

Larson says the fire station would be precast construction with a masonry veneer….not pre-engineered metal. The metal roof line will have some slope. Larson says the interior is designed to aid in quick response to emergencies.

"One of the things that we wanted to do, is make sure that we had good circulation, convenient routes to the apparatus for the firefighters, to reduce response times".

The new station would include display area, offices, ten firefighter rooms, restrooms, kitchen and dining area, gear storage, decontamination area , shower and exercise area and two mezzanines overlooking the gear area and fire bays. Larson says at the east side of the station, would be a fire training tower.

"Above the decon, shower and laundry is a training tower, and it has two levels incorporated with it. There's an exterior stair that will access it. It will allow for training.....use of ladders from the inside and also from the outside".

The main footprint of the building is expected to be around 31,000 square feet. Larson said the goal is to receive bids for the project in late February, with construction of the new fire station beginning in the spring.

Voter approval of a half-cent additional local sales tax is providing revenue for the project.

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