Significant changes are planned for a pair of Sherman’s fire stations — with one to receive major renovations and the other to be moved to a whole new area of the city.
The Sherman City Council unanimously approved a contract with Schmoldt Construction Inc. Monday to serve as construction manager-at-risk for renovations at Fire Station No. 5, which is located at 3704 Frisco Road on the city’s north side. The council then approved a request to advertise for a construction manager-at-risk for the work to build a new fire station No. 4 on the west side of Northgate Drive.
Fire Chief Danny Jones said the renovations to Fire Station No. 5 will make it more comfortable for the firefighters.
“It’s not to make it last another 20 to 25 years, it’s to make it last a few more years and make the accommodations a little better,” Jones said. “We’re going to expand the dorm room. We’re going to add onto the bathroom facilities.”
In documents prepared for the council, city staff called station No. 5 the smallest and busiest fire station in Sherman. It was built in 1974 and hasn’t seen significant renovations during its lifetime. In addition to lacking space for offices, private dormitories, multi-user restrooms and shower facilities, the station’s apparatus bay is also too short for most modern fire apparatus, which has caused diesel exhaust to build up in the station’s living quarters and bay area.
“The actual bay where the equipment goes, we’re going to extend it out 10 feet to make it bigger,” Jones said, adding the work will also add quarters for the station officer to have a dormitory and office. “It’s not going to make it a state-of-the-art facility, just expanding it enough to make it more comfortable.”
Schmoldt’s fee for the construction manager-at-risk services — which will see it assuming the risk of the renovation work at a guaranteed maximum price — is set to be 5 percent of the total cost of the construction phase. That is expected to total around $15,000 and is included in the Capital Improvement Program funding designated for the work.
Fire Station No. 4 is being relocated from its current location on the southeast corner of the intersection of FM 1417 and U.S. Highway 75 to Northgate Drive in the Blalock Industrial Park. City staff said it was built in 1968 and also has not had any significant improvements made to it since that work.
“We have been working with EIKON (Consulting Group) for some time,” Assistant City Manager Steve Ayers said. “We anticipate by next week they are going to propose a final design of the new station No. 4. We’re at the point now that we need to advertise for construction manager-at-risk.”
In August 2015, Sherman announced plans to move the fire station and combine the nine acres of property it is on with 13 acres of adjacent land to offer as a potential site for commercial development at that corner. The Sherman Economic Development Corp. purchased the 13 acres next to the fire station at that time for $575,000 from Garcha Corp. of Plano.
City staff previously said the move will give firefighters better access and a greater ability to serve the southern half of the city and its projected growth.
In March, the SEDCO board of directors approved $900,000 to extend Northgate Drive north from its current end near Southeastern Freight to connect with the West Travis Street extension that will run along the northern edge of Progress Park I. The extension of Travis Street on the west side of U.S. Highway 75 will go through the Sherman Crossroads development and will ultimately be a four-lane, divided roadway that will connect with OB Groner Road at its intersection with FM 1417. Northgate Drive is on the north side of FM 1417 and currently extends about three-quarters of the way through the Progress Park I industrial area.
In April, the council approved a contract for professional consulting services with EIKON Consulting Group LLC to design a new fire station on the west side of Northgate Drive across from Southeastern Freight.
SEDCO President John Plotnik said in June that it would likely be at least 18 months before the property at Hwy. 75 and FM 1417 could be sold because of the fire station needing to be relocated.