City moves forward on new fire station

CARLSBAD — Last month the city approved an agreement with SchneiderCM for construction management services for design and reconstruction of Fire Station No. 2 in La Costa.

The deal is for an amount not to exceed $391,500 for the station, located at the intersection of El Camino Real and Arenal Road, just north of the Omni La Costa Resort and Spa. The city received approval to move forward with the project from voters when Measure O passed overwhelmingly in last year’s election.

On July 11, the council authorized an agreement with Domus Studio Architecture to develop bridging documents for a design-build contract for the station. Currently, 60 percent of the designs are completed, according to a city report.

“We are looking at a two-story station design that makes very efficient use of the space so that we can remain within the city-owned land,” said Carlsbad Fire Division Chief Mike Lopez. “This will save taxpayer money since we won’t have to purchase any new property.” 

A total of $1 million for the current fiscal year has been appropriated in the General Capital Construction Fund for the project. The fire station project is estimated to cost between $7.5 million to $10.5 million. 

SchneiderCM, meanwhile, will begin the review of the documents created by Domus Studio Architecture for “completeness and constructability.” The city also held an open house in October for neighbors in the area around Arenal Road and El Camino Real to review the potential designs and get input. 

According to Lopez, the focus of the design work is to balance function with an appearance that fits in with the residential neighborhood. Although the design work is still at the conceptual stage, some key decisions have been made, such as keeping the station at its current location. 

The dilapidated station no longer meets current needs and codes with a small garage and lack of space to protect against diesel fumes and other carcinogens. In addition, the building does not meet earthquake codes and the siding, ironically, doesn’t meet fire codes.

The station was originally built to accommodate one full-time firefighter and today houses five including no separation for male and female firefighters.

Once the initial station design work is complete sometime next year, the city will advertise for firms to complete the design and construct the new station. Construction could start as soon as 2019 and will take about 12 to 14 months to complete.

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