WESTFIELD TWP. — Township and Westfield Center officials are seeking suggestions and community feedback Thursday night on a new fire station complex that is scaled down from a proposal voters rejected earlier this year.
During a special meeting Wednesday morning, representatives from DS Architecture in Kent reviewed preliminary designs with township trustees and Village Council members on the proposed $3.3 million project, which has been redesigned after voters overwhelmingly (69.7 percent) turned down a $5 million bond issue for a new facility in the May 2 primary.
The new design reduces the original plan by 2,000 square feet to 12,000, and eliminates a training tower, dorm rooms, one bay for township vehicles and a fitness area.
In addition to eliminating the square footage, trustees said transforming the building from a masonry design to pre-engineered steel was a key in reducing the overall project cost.
“If we can cut $2 million (off the project cost), we’re sending a message saying that we listened to the community and did our homework,” Trustee Michael Schmidt said. “Now we’re looking for input and support of the community.”
After tonight’s public meeting, trustees said the next step will be to request millage and rates from the county auditor’s office to place a levy on the Nov. 7 ballot. The deadline to file is Aug. 9.
“I feel good about going to the auditor,” Trustee James Likley said. “I think ($3.3 million) is very feasible. We’re still providing the needed services for the members and department and have room for future opportunities.”
He said the township also is looking at rewording the ballot language to refer to the facility as a safety services center. In the May issue voters rejected, it was referred to as a community center.
The $3.3 million project estimate includes construction and design/build service costs.
The proposal includes:
- eight bays and one wash bay;
- a multipurpose day room/sleeping area that includes a kitchenette;
- a training room;
- office space with storage;
- a men’s and women’s bathroom with lockers and showers;
- a public meeting room and safe room;
- equipment room.
The plan includes space for the township to add a 1,700-square-foot mezzanine in the future, as needed.
The new design shows the complex would be set back between 200-300 feet from Virginia Drive, behind the office of dentist Thomas Darren, and about 400 feet off Leroy Road.
It would have two driveways off Virginia Drive — one for emergency vehicles and one for the general public.
Revised plans also show a retention basin moved to the northwest corner of the property, which allows Virginia Drive “to maintain its natural vegetation with more trees,” Likley said.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Community input on proposed fire station complex
WHEN: 6:30 p.m. Thursday
WHERE: Westfield Township Hall, 6699 Buffham Road
Contact reporter Halee Heironimus at (330) 721-4012 or firstname.lastname@example.org.