South-end Fire Station to break ground by end of month

On Nov. 18 City Council will be opening and awarding a bid for Mercer Island's South end fire station.

The building was constructed in 1961, intended then only as a temporary location. At the time, MI was still a part of the King County Fire District and initially housed two engines and living quarters for three firefighters upstairs.

Last year, the city approved reconstruction plans for the station, located at S.E. 68th Street, because it was deemed seismically unsound. Chief Chris Tubbs of the Mercer Island Fire Department said it was determined that new construction made more sense than a simple remodel. Fire Station #92 is one of two on the Island, servicing emergencies south of S.E. 44th Street and occasionally coordinating with the North end station.

As the city has grown its commercial and residential core, so has demand for emergency services. In 1999, the North end fire station underwent its own reconstruction. And last year, the city approved plans for the South end rebuild.

Depending on next Monday's council meeting, work is tentatively scheduled to break ground by late November.

“We currently have a bid advertised and open for submittal,” said Tubbs.

“At the Nov. 18 meeting [council] will decide to either award the bid or re-advertise it and push pause on the project.”

When done, the South end station will also receive a beam from the World Trade Center to be displayed as public art. The city is still discussing how to transport the beam, which weighs 30,000 tons.


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