August 15, 2013
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City of Verona
Five Bugles gets call todesign new fire station
Unifed Newspaper Group
Experience trumpedfamiliarity in the decisionto hire a firm to design thecity’s new fire station.The city’s ad hoc com-mittee interviewed twofirms for the job last Thurs-day – Bray Architects andFive Bugles Design – andcame out recommendingFive Bugles. The Com-mon Council unanimouslyapproved that recommenda-tion Monday.The decision does notobligate the city to any par-ticular amount, despite thenearly $350,000 estimatefor the company’s services.The station is expected tocost $8 million to $10 mil-lion.Bray had worked withmany members of the com-mittee to develop VeronaCity Center in 2007-08,including a police sta-tion, and it sketched initialdesigns for a fire stationduring that process, whichincluded brief considerationof designing one largerbuilding that would accom-modate the fire department,as well.But Five Bugles memberstouted their experience of designing dozens of fire sta-tions in the Midwest as thereason they would be thebest fit for the city.
Only five of the 12 mem-bers of the group – Ald.Mac McGilvray, Mayor JonHochkammer, fire chief JoeGiver, Police and Fire Com-mission president DeloraNewton and Fitch-RonaEMS chief Brian Myrland–were present for the inter-views.The group discussed theproposals after two hour-long presentations anddecided that Eau Claire-based Five Bugles woulddeliver the best stationbased on their experienceand team of experts.Hochkammer said at themeeting he was impressedby Bray’s presentation, buthe felt Five Bugles was abetter fit for this job.“I thought Bray did a real-ly good job on the presen-tation,” Hochkammer toldthe committee. “But my guttells me … that I think thatFive Bugles can do a better job. We want what’s bestfor the city, long term.”Committee membersagreed, saying Five Bugles’in-house emergency ser-vices specialist, Ed Misch-efske, helped edge out thecompetition.Mischfeske is a formerfire chief of 23 years, andhe served 36 years in theemergency services field.Committee members likedhis ability to articulate whatfirefighters need for theirdepartment and work withthe committee and designteam to meet those needs.Giver said he and his staff were comfortable workingwith Five Bugles when thegroup did a station locationanalysis for the departmentlast year.In addition, many of thestations that city staff andcommittee members hadtoured in recent monthswere built in part by FiveBugles.“No one comes close tothem with their experiencewith fire stations,” Giversaid. “Me and my staff areextremely comfortable withthem.”
Five Bugles providedan initial cost of about$348,000 for the engineer-ing and design services of the first phase the designproject, according to num-bers provided by cityadministrator Bill Burns.Bray was slightly higher at$385,000. The two compa-nies were selected for pre-sentations out of six thatsubmitted proposals.The first phase will be toconduct a final space needsanalysis and site analysis,which will include review-ing previous studies andmaking sure the locationhas enough room for thenew station and any futureadditions.Five Bugles’ proposalsaid the group will look atresponse data, current andfuture land use plans andpopulation projections.It plans also to incor-porate conversations withfirefighters and city staff into discussions with thesteering committee todevelop “bubble diagrams”of where different parts of the fire, EMS and sharedareas need to be inside thenew station. From there, thegroup will develop some3-D schematics for thesteering committee, counciland public to review.The first phase is sched-uled to be completed byNovember, which wouldgive the council a good ideaof what it needs to budgetfor the new station.Both Bray and FiveBugles estimated the costper square foot of the newstation to be between $200and $250. A previousspace needs analysis putthe department’s needs atnearly 40,000 square feet.On the low end, a new sta-tion would run about $8million. It could be up to$10 million based on theseestimates.After the first phase, thecity would need to work with a firm to begin mak-ing construction documentsover the winter. The projectwould be bid in the springand construction wouldstart in the summer. Theproject would be done byApril 2015.Before beginning theplanning process in ear-nest, the city will likely tohave a discussion about hir-ing a construction managerto oversee the design andbuilding process.Ald. McGilvray said aplan for overseeing theproject was “important tohave in place.” The cityused public works directorRon Reider as the construc-tion manager while build-ing the City Center, butlikely won’t devote staff resources to the fire stationproject, members said atthe ad hoc meeting.The council has heardseveral different methodsof construction manage-ment, but has yet to decideon which one they prefer touse for this project. A datefor that meeting hasn’t beenset, but representativesfrom Five Bugles recom-mended having a construc-tion manager on board assoon as possible.
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Closed to through traffic
The intersection of County Highway PB and Sunset Drive is limited while road crews install a new cul-vert to improve drainage under the road. All through traffic has been diverted to County Highway 69.