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.