Demolition Work Begins For New Burien/Normandy Park Fire Station

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by Ralph Nichols

A demolition permit has been issued to the Burien/Normandy Park Fire Department (Fire District No. 2) to clear the property at 900 SW 146th St. for construction of a new headquarters fire station.

The Bonney-Watson chapel and mortuary and the surrounding land, located at this site for decades, were purchased by the fire district last December.

Fire Chief Mike Marrs told The B-Town Blog on Sept. 14 that a 90-day contract for the work was signed with Bulldog Demolition earlier this month.

Utility shut-off work is already underway and will be completed by the contractor before the buildings start coming down, Marrs said. He expects building demolition to begin by Oct. 1.

The fire district will probably advertise for construction bids for the new station sometime this fall, perhaps by late November.

Marrs added that construction should begin “after the first of the year, depending on weather, probably in February or March,” with the new fire station being completed by the end of 2011.

In the meantime, “design work is coming along very well,” he said. “The architects are done with the schematic drawings – the size and shape of rooms – and now are into the design phase.”

This phase includes more technical activities such as developing the exact layout and locating utility lines.

“We’re 75 percent through this process,” Marrs noted. “By the end of the month the architects will be ready to begin final detailed drawings.”

The new fire station will replace the Bonney-Watson chapel and mortuary at 900 SW 146th Street.

In November 2008, voters in Fire District No. 2 approved a $25 million bond issue for construction of new headquarters fire station in downtown Burien and replacement of the existing station in Normandy Park.

The bond issue included the costs of property acquisition and equipping the new stations.

Burien has long needed a new fire station to replace the outdated existing facility at the corner of SW 151st St. and 8th Ave. S.

The Normandy Park fire station at 135 S. Normandy Road will be built at that location. The existing station will remain in operation during construction.

Fire District 2 recently acquired an adjacent residential property through an eminent domain process to make room for the new station there.

“The survey work is done and next week we will begin the schematic design work for it,” Marrs said.

“Because this is a smaller station, it should be a faster process. We’re still shooting for completion of it around the end of 2011 also.”

A top priority for the headquarters fire station was a downtown location where response times will be no more than seven minutes anywhere in the fire district.

In addition, a location near major arterials that provide direct access to State Route 509 was desired.

The Bonney-Watson property met both requirements, and also provides room for “plenty of on-site parking for us, even when station public meeting rooms are in use,” Marrs said earlier.

Here are renderings of the proposed new fire station design:

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2 Responses to “Demolition Work Begins For New Burien/Normandy Park Fire Station”
  1. Ben Moore says:

    People should be aware that every tree on the site is slated for demolition including the 72″ diameter Sequoia tree and a 60″ diameter poplar tree. Efforts to at least salvage the wood for re-use from these trees has not met with much success either. Seems like a waste. If the trees have to be chopped down and removed why not try to make use of the wood?

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    • Coverofnight says:

      Oh, the wood will get salvaged and re-used…the demolition contractor probably has something lined up to sell the wood. These guys don’t let anything of value go to waste.

      Too bad they didn’t try to acquire the parking lot and corner lot right across the street from this site. It looks like a more efficient flat site for design and access (streets on 3 sides), a nice building and surrounding grounds (the funeral home) would have been preserved, and the fire station wouldn’t sit right next door to residential housing.

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