Story by Ralph Nichols
Photos by Scott Schaefer
King County Fire District 2 Commissioners, Chief Mike Marrs, firefighters with the Burien/Normandy Park Department, and local officials broke ground Wednesday (July 27) for new headquarters Station 28.
“This is an exciting occasion, especially for those who took the vision from concept to reality,” Marrs said.
But the new station, which will be built at 900 SW 146th Street, “would not be possible without the citizens of Burien and Normandy Park,” Marrs added. “We’re extremely grateful for their overwhelming supportâ€¦.
“We need to offer the highest service possible to the community,” and the new station will help the fire department do that, he said.
Voters in Fire District No. 2 approved in November 2008 a $25 million bond issue for construction of the new headquarters fire station, and for replacement of the existing station in Normandy Park.
The construction contract was signed earlier in the day Tuesday. Josh Ferrel, project manager for Bayley Construction of Mercer island, the general contractor, said work likely will get underway in late August or early September.
Completion of construction and occupancy of the new station is anticipated for late summer 2012, Marrs said.
Cameron Smock, president and CEO of Bonney-Watson, which for decades had a mortuary and chapel at that location until selling the property to Fire District 2, said the decision was difficult to make.
But they came to understand that just as Bonney-Watson had “a legacy of service to families, by celebrating lives” there, that service “could be continued to help save lives” by selling it to the fire district.
Burien has long needed a new fire station to replace the outdated and undersized existing facility at the corner of SW 151st St. and 8th Ave. S., Marrs said earlier. It will include space for the department’s ladder truck, which now must be parked away from downtown.
The Normandy Park fire station at 135 S. Normandy Road will be built at the current location. The fire district has acquired an adjacent residential property for the building site and the existing station will remain in operation when construction begins.
Marrs told The B-Town Blog that land-use plans for the Normandy Park station, which is in Burien, were submitted to city staff for review on July 26. Ironing out these details is taking longer because the station is adjacent to a residential area.
That project is expected to go out for bids at the beginning of the year, with completion anticipated at the end of 2012 or early 2013.
The bond issue included the costs of property acquisition and equipping the new stations.
Here are some photos of the event as taken by Publisher/Editor Scott Schaefer: