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City readies to rebuild South end fire station
The city will hold an open house to introduce the design process for a new Fire Station 92 on the South end of Mercer Island. The event will be from 5 to 7 p.m., April 24, at the station, at 8473 S.E. 68th St.
“It is more than time that we got started on this,” said Rich Conrad, Mercer Island city manager.
The City Council authorized the hiring of Miller Hull at its April 2 meeting. The work now underway is “pre-design” only, city officials said. Feedback from the open house is to provide the City Council with the information it needs to decide in June whether to move the project forward.
To talk with citizens, the architects will have representatives on hand. City staff assigned to the project will also attend. A brief presentation will begin at 6 p.m.,
A story in this newspaper in the fall of 2005 outlined some of the issues facing the simple concrete/cinder block station on S.E. 68th Street between Sunnybeam School and the South-end shopping center.
Then fire chief Walt Mauldin gave a reporter a tour. Mauldin said he thought that the two-engine firehouse would collapse in an earthquake. It was built well before earthquake standards were set by city code.
The building was erected in 1962, when Mercer Island was still part of the King County Fire District. It is 5,300 square feet and sits on a third of an acre. It was built to accommodate just a pair of fire engines with three firefighters living upstairs — plenty then for the sparsely populated South end in the 1960s.
As the South-end of the Island has grown considerably since the structure was built, so has the delivery of public safety. and emergency services.
Now, the space is tight. There has not been enough room for offices or space for firefighters to work out. On Sunday, three fire vehicles were parked outside the station — it is difficult to believe that they could all fit inside the two-bay structure.
The North end fire station was rebuilt in 1999.
For more information, contact Glenn Boettcher, assistant city manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (206) 275-7802.