By Robert Barron
How do you figure the costs of building a new fire station? That’s what Fire Chief Phil Clover wants to know.
Clover faced concerns from several city commissioners last week when they tabled an increase in architect Ken Corbin’s fee to reflect the increased cost of the project.
The cost of construction of fire station No. 2 has risen from an estimated $548,000 to more than $1 million.
Ward 2 Commissioner Don Rose expressed concern over the increased cost of the project. The estimate was made in 2001 when the money to build the station was approved by voters as part of a quarter-cent public safety tax.
Clover said a committee, including Rose and Ward 6 Commissioner Todd Ging, will be established to study the costs and possibly find a better way to estimate them.
Rose also opposed construction of a new animal shelter, because the original cost was estimated at $300,000 and the final estimate totaled more than $600,000. He and Ward 5 Commissioner John Hodgden, who also spoke out against the cost of the animal shelter, have asked for further study on the fire station project.
City Planner Chris Bauer, an architect, said the most common method of planning a project is estimating the cost per square foot. However, Bauer said an animal shelter and a fire station are specialized construction and are not subject to the same rules as the types of buildings that are more frequently constructed, such as retail buildings.
Clover said he did a survey of fire stations that have been constructed recently before putting the plans together for the project. Bartlesville built a new fire station in 2002, he said, for about $103 per square foot. Sapulpa completed a fire station recently for $120 per square foot.
Norman opened bids three days before Clover’s Feb. 7 presentation to the city commission, and costs were between $165 and $175 per square foot.
By Robert Barron
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