'Sustainable' Not Right Style for New Fire Station, Commissioner Says
One commissioner wanted to see more style options than the one architectural rendering for a green-friendly replacement of Fire Station 61 at Highlander Park at a June 7 city meeting.
Sustainability is the style for the incoming fire station at Highlander Park, its architect says.
But the rendering of a green-friendly station brought forward at a city meeting June 7 received a lukewarm reception from at least one commissioner.
The computer-generated drawings and draft floor plans depicted 7,500 square feet with:
- Three engine bays (including space for EMS),
- Eight bunk rooms (double the four presently at Station 61),
- A day room,
- Kitchen and dining area,
- Training areas,
- A fitness room, and
- A public-facing antique engine bay for the city’s 1922 engine, which is only on display once a year. (The rest of the time it is a “great big road block in the middle of the station,” said Chief Bud Meyer.)
“I'd like to see a couple other options,” Julie Ward Bujalski said.
The architect said during his presentation that he took into account the eclectic styles in the surrounding the area — the more contemporary Dunedin Fine Art Center and Dunedin Community Center and many older nearby homes — and designed something that would maintain the integrity of the neighborhood.
But Bujalski said the new building should fit in with one of the five or six city-approved styles by which outside firms must abide. She said the city should follow its own rules.
“Behind you is going to be the pool, the new pool, someday hopefully in our lifetime,” she said. “You're gonna have this real tropical environment back there, you've got a park setting. It looks very artsy goes retro 1950s.”
The new station, budgeted for $1.76 million, planned replaces the outmoded Fire Station 61 on Ed Eckert Drive. Its more convenient location at the corner of Michigan Boulevard and Ed Eckert Drive will allow engines to exit directly onto Michigan, instead of “coming out on a turn,” as it does presently. Response times will not be affected, Meyer said.
It is also a planned sustainable project. Its style makes use of mostly brick interior and exterior, uses minimal dry wall and takes advantage of free sunlight from north- and south-facing sky lights.
“As sustainability becomes more and more important, it's almost becoming its own style,” the architect explained of the building's style.
The city plans to begin construction in October, and hopes to have it complete by June 2013.
Station 61 is one of three Dunedin fire stations. Pinellas County is contributing 13 percent of the cost.