Groves fire station begins design phase; timeline in place

Published 12:16 am Wednesday, February 5, 2020

GROVES — The long awaited process for the rebuilding of the 64-year-old Groves Fire Station is underway.

City Council members approved a contract this week between the City of Groves and Joiner Architects, Inc. to begin the design phase.

City Manager D.E. Sosa said fire chief Dale Jackson selected Joiner Architects, Inc. approximately two years ago during the initial start of the campaign after receiving proposals from many architects.

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“Unfortunately, we missed the mark by about one year,” Sosa said. “We had to wait until the Economic Development Corporation approved the project and released the debt service funds to cover it. The timing was a little off, but we are happy to be back on schedule.”

Sosa said the design phase includes drawing specifications, as well interior and exterior proposal ideas.

“We need to find out how big it is going to be, what’s going to be in it and how much it is going to cost,” he said. “The fire department is going to work together with the architect to build a floor plan and decide the logistics, the how many of this and thats.”

The design plans will be a joint effort between the city, architect and firefighters, Sosa said.

“We want input from the people who are going to have their boots in that facility,” he said. “That goes a long way to building an economic and functional station, whether it’s a sewer plant, water plant or fire station.

“We want the input from the people who are going to be living in there and working in there. Every city is different, and we want something for the City of Groves, our needs, our wants and meets our expectations.”

Fire Chief Dale Jackson said the design phase includes three steps: programming, schematic design and design development.

They are hoping present the final schematics to the council by early April.

“We went out and looked at a bunch of different fire stations and how they were designed to be firefighter friendly, equipped with safety features, etc. all before we even picked out an architect,” Jackson said. “Our station is 64 years old, but we are looking at something built during today’s time.

“We have seen how other places utilize space, keeping in mind that you want a building to grow with you in the future. The architect we selected has built a bunch of fire stations in the past and knows how to make something fit for firefighters and the needs of the future, so we are excited to get this process started.”

Once the design phase is closing out, Sosa said the next phase includes hiring a contractor.

“You are going to get your very best prices and bang for your buck,” Sosa said. “Everything is itemized in a way where you look at the electricians, the engineers and every jack of every trade, as part of the project.”

Among other business at Monday’s city council:

  • A contract for grant administration services was approved between David J. Waxman, Inc. and the City of Groves concerning the use of $4.2 million for Hurricane Harvey disaster relief recovery for a new sewer lift station and rebuilding of damaged roads.
  • A resolution regarding civil rights policies and procedures was approved as required by a Disaster Recovery Grant.
  • Submittal of grant applications for a Fiscal Year 2020 Governor’s Homeland Security Grant Program for the purchase of three P25 portable radios was authorized.

The next city council meeting begins at 5 p.m. March 2.