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New Fire Station Plans Moving Forward

The station will be constructed at the same time as the library and city hall, though at a different location.

Lost in the shuffle of the Drexel Town Square project and construction of a new city hall and library is a new fire station that will be built at the same time.

Preliminary plans for how the fire station might be laid out at 255 E. Centennial Drive, across from the post office, were presented last week. It will be built on a portion of 15 wooded acres the city received for free as part of a development agreement.

A representative of Bray Architects, which is designing all three civic buildings, told the Oak Creek Common Council that planners are "treading lightly" when it comes to preserving that green space.

"We want to be stewards of the environment within the existing forestry that's there," said Michael Hacker of Bray Architects.

Bray is working closely with the Oak Creek Fire Department on the logistics of the station, which are much different than any other public building.

The department's goal is for wheels to be moving on emergency vehicles within 90 seconds of a call, and the site and building will be designed with that in mind, Hacker said.

The station is on a similar timeframe as the city hall and library, with construction scheduled to start this summer and finish in 2014. They will be bid as separate projects, but the city could award it to one contractor or two, depending on which is more favorable.

The fire station will likely be completed about two months before the city hall and library, said Steve Chamberlin, the city's representative on the projects.

The civic buildings are being paid for through money the city gets from hosting the We Energies power plant and do not require additional taxes. The city has a $19.5 million budget for the completion of all three buildings.

The new fire station is replacing Fire Station 1, at 240 E. Puetz Road across from Oak Creek High School. The Oak Creek-Franklin School District will eventually take ownership of that property, which is also home to the current library and city hall, for an expansion of the high school. 

Officials say Fire Station 1 is in major need of repairs and does not have adequate living space, room for training, storage space and is not complaint with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

treeman January 23, 2013 at 11:44 PM
That is such a shame. Those woods on Centennial are such a high quality woods they should be turned into a park where everyone could enjoy them. Oak Creek doesn't have alot of high quality woods and it is a shame to have one of them cut down to build a fire station.
Patriot January 24, 2013 at 12:05 AM
Yes it is very sad!!! What a shame
Kanter John'n Margaret January 24, 2013 at 03:12 AM
Where is all the money coming from also if they built it should be built on Ryan road by the P D that way the railroad tracks won't be in the way of response on ryan they go over and under
Steven Kurkowski January 24, 2013 at 04:38 AM
I'm opposed to the movement of the fire station. Think about what the taxpayers of the school district will someday be asked..."this property will be turned over to the Oak Creek-Franklin School District for eventual expansion of the high school". Think about that. Think about the location of that fire station in relationship to the nearest part of the high school. Unless they are talking about a whole new building, that's one mighty expansion. The fire station needs to be updated. The location does not.
vocal local 1 January 24, 2013 at 11:54 AM
Treeman, have you seen the destruction on the Dupont site, Carrollville between American Ave. and Ryan Road? This council doesn't have the spatial abilities necessary to vote on future projects is my take. They have destroyed most of the trees and shrubs. Skidded out a bunch of large old trees destroying the Lakefront. Canopy. TO PUT IN A PARKING LOT? I agree with Kanter below, why not put the new station over by the cop shop on Ryan or on the Delphi site? Do we really need a new firestation? Methinks council should cut the numbers of fire and EMT's in preparation for bankruptcy proceedings the city is apt to face with their huge, 175 million debt plans for development. Bolendar, with Scaffidi on the council depleted capital improvement fund to hide spending. The three new bridges and all road improvements now must be borrowed money. City as a business isn't doing well financially. Still, they insist on moving forward with development in a depression. Also, did you note there were not any lay off's in streets even though they no longer do garbage pick-up. What are they doing with all that man power?
BringBackOakCreek09 January 24, 2013 at 08:53 PM
The fire dept has been updated, its a fully functional and a nice building. Like i said and will say again. The library should be built where they want to build this new fire station. Still close enough for kids to walk. Knock down the old library and expand the city hall. Leaving the fire station alone. This idea of a new oak creek focal point is dumb and just a waste of money. We would have been better off waiting for a company to fill the delphi plant then the ideas they have come up with lately. Oak Creek politics at its best.
Betsy Abert January 25, 2013 at 02:31 AM
Terrible decision on the part of Oak Creek, SWRPAC and the moreover, the City of South Milwaukee who will simply continue to receive the siltation to its Mill Pond and Lake Michigan due in no small part to the city of Oak Creek accepting a "donation" of woodland for development when level and fully capable infrastructured land is ready for development elsewhere in the city. How short-sighted is this decision to build at the headwaters of the Oak Creek!?! Fully wooded headwaters at that. Shame on the engineers who approved this plan. It is exemplary of old-school decisions when so much of the local environment is at stake. I can't believe Bray Architects can live with their decision. And that senseless comment about stewardship with this plan is pure hallucination. Might as well go back to pre-Jensen, pre-Phil Lewis, and pre-Leopold ideals to live with that comment. Bah! Where are the citizens of Oak Creek who care an ounce for the continuity and quality of open space?!
Debra Mueller January 25, 2013 at 12:16 PM
There is quite a bit of traffic on Centennial ave which is only a two way road. It is not as roomy as Puetz ave for the fire dept to come out on from the fire dept. Are they planning on widening the road too??

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