'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 , 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 and 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. 

fedupwithpolitics June 11, 2012 at 10:32 PM
they need to kick bujalski out of politics, she is clueless. they have been working on this with a committee i am sure and because queen julie wants more options we should stop progress. hire the fire marshal back and fire bujalski. this commission waste more time and money then obama. cut my taxes 5% again i need to go out to eat this week,(sarcasm). she is one of the first ones to complain if it dosn't fit the neighborhood which this design does very well according to the pictures. and please a waterpark, no one uses the stupid money pit pool now and you don't even charge those who use the splash park, i know grant money and donations don't allow it right. then charge them to park, put a collection box and number the spots. people will pay a dollar to park and use the splash park. dunedin waste so much money,, they want to put a kayak launch at the new park north of mediterranean manor. whats wrong with the million miles of beach two blocks down on the causeway. NEVER RE-ELECT ANYONE WHO IS NOT DOING A GREAT JOB!!!!!!!
Susan June 12, 2012 at 12:51 PM
This is a great design! It's contemporary, fresh and scaled appropriately to fit the site. The low profile roof lets the building nestle unobtrusively under the oaks, and won't block views to the pool and ballfields beyond. The glass makes it visually 'open', so it sits lightly on the ground and invites public access ( if not through physical access, at least visually). It doesn't have the large, closed-off 'warehouse' feeling some other fire stations do. Neighbors on Michigan who were concerned about the location will have a beautiful, light building to look at. Dunedin should embrace this opportunity for some great design in a sustainable building, scaled appropriately for our smaller town - like it's bigger neighbors Tampa and St. Pete. After all, our eclectic reputation is what makes Dunedin so loved by residents and visitors alike, and this design sets a new standard for fresh innovation in the city. Please vote YES for it!
Lisa June 12, 2012 at 11:12 PM
I'm the proud daughter of an architect and the sister of an architect that designs "green" buildings all over the world. It's a beautiful design, a little retro, a little modern and I think it suits Dunedin very well. Kudos to the architect for capturing exactly what this town is...a little retro and a little modern and definitely GREEN!
Cecilia June 13, 2012 at 10:50 AM
Just because one commissioner - of five - wants something, does that meant it is going to happen? This is a sincere question as I thought it was majority rule 3/2 vote or a super majority4/1 needed to get things, anything, done???? Thanks to someone for clarifying.
Katie Dolac June 15, 2012 at 10:03 PM
Hi Cecilia! Any decisions are still a majority vote! If you are asking in relation to this story, though, I would clarify that the commission only held a discussion and provided some direction on the plans presented. Once everyone is settled on the design, the next action will be to approve a contractor to begin construction. I should also clarify that Bujalski did not voice any objection to the sustainable nature of the project, she just wanted to see it presented in a few different architectural styles, preferably ones that matched what the city mandates for outside developers.


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