FROM STAFF REPORTS
Construction is set to begin next week on a new San Marcos fire station No. 4 east of Interstate 35, replacing one on Broadway Street that officials say has become obsolete and overcrowded.
City officials will hold a ground-breaking ceremony for the facility at 4 p.m. Friday, March 10 on a three-acre site at 1404 Wonder World Drive.
The existing fire station No. 4 has been “plagued by structural and foundational issue since the day it opened” in 1982, fire chief Les Stephens said.
In addition, the existing station’s coverage area overlaps significantly with fire station No. 1 downtown; despite being the city’s only fire station on the eastside, it is too far away to respond quickly enough to residential areas such as the Cottonwood Creek and El Camino Real neighborhoods.
“The list of why [the Broadway Street fire station] needs to go away is really, really long,” Stephens said.
In January, the city council awarded a $4.34 million construction contract to San Antonio-based Teal Construction Co., which estimates completion in 10 to 12 months. The total project cost is estimated at $6 million.
The 11,182-square-foot station will have three drive-through apparatus bays with capacity to house a fire engine or ladder truck, a brush truck and an ambulance. It will have sufficient living and sleeping accommodations for up to ten personnel.
Designed by College Station-based BRW Architects, the blueprints for fire station No. 4 can be replicated for future new fire stations. Two proposed new stations — one near the intersection of Wonder World Drive and Old Ranch Road 12 in western San Marcos and one near Posey Road and Interstate 35 in southern San Marcos — are on the May city ballot as part of a $17.2 million package of new fire and police department facilities.
“We set out to design a facility that we could build multiple times with minimal changes,” Stephens said.
NOTE: This story has been updated throughout.