Here's what you need to know about Tallmadge's new fire station
Tallmadge is expected to begin Phase 1 site work for the new Fire Station 2 in June, and city council recently heard an update on the project from Mayor David Kline, Bobby Johnston of Mann Parsons Gray Architects, Fire Chief Michael Passarelli and Deputy Fire Chief Ben Stasik.
The current Fire Station 2 is located 735 Eastwood Ave., and the new station will be built directly behind it.
Here's five things to know about the new station:
1. What it costs
The project is being funded by the city's earned income tax that was increased from 2% to 2.25% in November 2019, with the additional 0.25% going to safety forces. In 2021, that collection is estimated at $1,285,125.
The new station is expected to cost $7,270,030, which includes MPG's architectural services at $407,460, Tomarios Construction's services as construction manager at $130,570, and the building and site work including furniture, fixtures and equipment and a 10% contingency for $6,732,000.
City Council was expected to approve the issuance of an 20-year $8 million bond on Thursday, but Kline said, "My goal is that we won't need $8 million."
"That's the maximum we can issue in debt, so we will not exceed it and we're going to work really hard to right-size the amount so that we're not over-issuing," Finance Director Mollie Gilbride said.
The city has already paid just under $500,000 in cash to purchase the site.
At 17,000 square feet, the building will cost about $360 per square foot, which is an industry standard, Johnston said.
"We started working with KZF Design, the criteria architect. They know fire stations and EMS facilities. They've done over 100 of them throughout the country and they have the experience and knowledge," Johnston said. "We have a lot of experience, and between our office and KZF's history, we're sure that numbers accurate."
2. What the building will look like
The exterior of the station will be in the Tallmadge Western Reserve style with masonry throughout. The bays will be 1.5 stories with a training mezzanine, and there will also be a three-level training tower.
Inside, there will be six bays for fire trucks, as well as four dorms, an officer dorm, lockers, a day room, kitchen and dining areas and a 40-person training room.
Due to new requirements, the fire station will also include a large fitness area as well as a hardened storm shelter.
The bays will be accessible via both Treat Boulevard and South Munroe Road.
3. More opportunities for training
Currently, the closest training facility to Tallmadge is in Green, but because of the distance, Tallmadge firefighters are not able to train there while on duty, Stasik explained.
"We need to be working on our skills every day, especially with the makeup of our department. And, requirements for firefighters aren't going down, if anything they're becoming more significant," Stasik said.
The new fire station has several built-in features for training, such as the new fitness area that will allow firefighters to work out while on duty, but also may drive off-duty employees to the station, Passarelli said.
The tower will be used to practice repelling, dragging hose line, sprinkler systems, and rope work. The windows at the top of the tower can also open to allow firefighters to practice using the new tower ladder that's in construction now.
Tallmadge has been in talks with Mogadore, Brimfield and other adjacent jurisdictions to practice on the tower.
Stasik added that they could also train on the one-story flat roof using props to practice cutting holes in roofs.
4. They're building for the future
Stasik noted that while Passarelli and Kline are nearing the end of their careers, he has another 20 years left before retirement.
"We tried to put a lot of thought into what we need right now and what we'll need in the future," he said. "I've got a long time to see this building through, and I want to see this building and the functionality to be here. I want to look back and say we planned well.
"There are some parts of the offices and dorms that are for today, but it's also about planning for the 50- to 75-year future."
The additional built-in training opportunities are part of that future, Stasik said, because requirements for firefighters have continued to become more and more significant.
Additionally, Station 2 typically only has at most three people on duty, but the new facility will have five total dorms, in anticipation that staffing will eventually increase.
5. The construction process
Site work is expected to begin in June and should be completed in May 2022.
Throughout construction, the current Fire Station 2 will remain open and all other buildings on the site will be removed.
Once the new station is completed and the department moves, the old building will be torn down and in its place will be the new 43-space parking lot, which includes two ADA compliant spaces and two bike stands.
Reporter Krista S. Kano can be reached at 330-541-9416, firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @KristaKanoABJ