Beaufort moving closer to construction of new fire station - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Beaufort moving closer to construction of new Ribaut Road fire station

BEAUFORT, SC (WTOC) -

Construction on the new Beaufort fire station on Ribaut Road is expected to start in October and be completed by next summer, city leaders said.

The one-plus acre site at 1120 Ribaut Road is ideally situated for fire protection, Beaufort City Manager Scott Dadson said. The site is geographically positioned between Port Royal's main station and Beaufort's current Fire Headquarters near the intersection of Ribaut and Boundary Street.

"A lot of work has gone into locating and securing this site, designing an effective fire station that also fits our Lowcountry look, and working through the various permitting. We are thrilled to be moving closer to construction," Dadson said. "The property is ideally located considering where most of our service calls originate and our partnership with the Town of Port Royal."

The new facility will replace the outdated one beside Beaufort Middle School and across from Mossy Oaks Elementary on Mossy Oaks Road.

Since the city bought the original property in September 2013, it also acquired a smaller sliver of land adjacent to the neighboring Love House Ministries' bowling alley. The additional land addresses access, stormwater management and other site conditions. The fire station also will be accessible from Bowling Alley Lane, a small street at the rear of the property that will be improved as part of this project.

Beaufort Fire Chief Sammy Negron said the Ribaut Road location offers:

• Direct access to the main artery between Beaufort and Port Royal

• Easy and efficient travel times to the entire coverage area for this fire station

• Excellent geographical positioning to reinforce and enhance the ISO 2 rating that helps reduce commercial fire insurance premiums

• Limited impact on neighborhoods

• Greater distance from large schools than the current Mossy Oaks station

• Smooth traffic flow for fire vehicles, including direct access to the rear of the facility (eliminating fire trucks having to back into the bays).

The entire fire station project, including site acquisition, design, construction and fixtures/furnishings, is financed through $2.2 million in City bond sales.

"We are excited about the new fire station and how it will help us in our mission to provide the best possible fire prevention and fire protection services to the people of Beaufort and Port Royal," Negron said.

Timeline of the new Beaufort Fire Station project

2011-2012 – Efforts begin to find property for a new fire station that is more centrally located to the Beaufort Fire Department's service area. The Mossy Oaks Road fire station is outdated and faces several major maintenance issues including roofing. Negotiations between the City and Town of Port Royal to make this a joint Main Fire Station ultimately ended; however, the fire station is part of the City's and Town's ISO 2 District that services the main portions of the City and Town along Ribaut Road.

May 28, 2013 – City Council authorizes contract negotiations for a 1.2-acre parcel at 1120 Ribaut Road, the preferred location for a new fire station.

June 2013 – Architects Hussey Gay Bell & DeYoung of Savannah begin designing the new fire station; their work is placed on hold after Design Review Board input in October 2013 while the City negotiates for additional land (from the Love House Ministries which owns the bowling alley), and resumes in March 2014.

Sept. 27, 2013 - City buys the property for $320,000 from Andrew Sears and Macie Sears Scherick of Jacksonville, Fla.

May 25, 2014 – a Pre-Qualification Request for Proposals (RFP) was issued to pre-qualify contractors to bid on the Fire Station. The pre-qualification process was recommended by the project architects to expedite the bid process and ensure highly qualified firms participated.

June 12, 2014 – Final Design Review Board approval received for the Fire Station.

June 13, 2014 - City buys a portion of neighboring property (by the Bowling Alley) for $34,781 to secure access, stormwater management and other site conditions. The station will also be accessible from Bowling Alley Lane, a street to the rear of the property.

June 20, 2014 – Pre-Qualification RFP Deadline.

Week of July 14, 2014 – Pre-qualified contractors notified.

(Estimated) August 15-August 30 – Final construction documents will be complete and the project will be put out to bid to the pre-qualified contractors.

(Estimated) September 15 – Oct 1 – Contractor will be selected, ceremonial groundbreaking will be held and work will begin on the new fire station. Construction is estimated to take less than 10 months.

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