Fire Station Plans Unveiled

On Monday night, city officials held the last of three community meetings to discuss a new Fire Station No. 3 and emergency operations center. Preliminary planning on the new facilities is expected to be completed by Thanksgiving.

The preliminary design plans discussed Monday envision a 9,500- square-foot fire station that fronts Buena Vista Avenue between Hibbard and Grand streets with a separate, 2,500-square-foot emergency operations center that would sit behind it on Grand. The estimated cost of the facilities is $6.8 million, F. Christopher Ford of BRW Architects said.

"We think we're on a good track with this option," Ford told a crowd of about three dozen people, about a third of them fire department personnel, gathered at Mastick Senior Center.

City leaders will soon decide whether to proceed with a formal planning process that will include a request for a use permit, design and environmental reviews to be heard by the Planning Board and City Council, as well as finding funding for the project.

"This is a wonderful plan," said John McCahan, a Public Utility Board member who also chairs the local Red Cross affiliate's advisory board.

McCahan, who called the city's current emergency operations center in the basement of the Alameda Police Department "one of the worst places you could work," praised the new plans, which separate the emergency center from the fire station.

City leaders have initiated efforts to replace Alameda's existing mid-Island fire station at Grand Street and Pacific Avenue because it is seismically unsound; firefighters haven't inhabited the station in more than a decade.

Information from the three community meetings will be posted to the city's website.



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