Marin Builders Cornerstone Partner, LCA Architects IN THE NEWSOctober 28, 2021
San Rafael clears contracts for 2 fire station overhauls
By ADRIAN RODRIGUEZ | email@example.com
Marin Independent Journal
PUBLISHED: October 27, 2021
San Rafael officials have reached another milestone in the multimillion dollar effort to modernize the city’s public safety buildings.
The City Council voted to approve contracts to rebuild San Rafael Fire Department Stations 54 and 55. Station 54 is in the Canal area and Station 55 is in the Peacock Gap area.
The contract went to Wickman Development and Construction Inc., which submitted the lowest of six bids. The contract is for $8.9 million with a $880,900 contingency for unforeseen expenses.
The city also awarded a $280,300 contract to Loving Campos Associates and Architects Inc. for supervision and administration. The same firm designed the project.
“This is a big deal that we’re excited about,” Mayor Kate Colin said. “The San Rafael Fire Department we already know is the best in Marin County. And we want to have the facilities that match the excellence of our personnel.”
The council cast 4-0 votes on the contracts at its meeting on Oct. 18. Councilwoman Maika Llorens Gulati was absent.
Construction is set to begin in January and expected to continue for 10 to 12 months, said Fabiola Guillen, senior project manager.
The project was expected to start sooner, but construction bids cast in May yielded disappointing results. The city received just two bids, and the lowest, $10.6 million, was too high, Guillen said.
Contractors who previously expressed interest in the project said the cost and availability of materials — volatile factors because of the COVID-19 pandemic — posed too many unknowns, ultimately making them unwilling to vie for the job, Guillen said.
The project was put out to bid again in September.
The effort is part of the city’s $73 million essential facilities project to repair and replace key emergency services buildings. It was paid for through a portion of sales tax dollars collected from Measure E, which was approved in 2013. The new contract approvals kick off the second phase of the project.
In April 2019, Station 52 near San Rafael High School was the first of three renovations to be completed as part of the first project phase. Station 57 near the Marin County Civic Center was completed in November 2019.
Last year, the city firefighters and police moved into the $36 million public safety center at Fifth Avenue and D Street that was completed after about two years of construction.
Stations 54 and 55 were built in the 1960s and require a series of upgrades.
Station 54 on Castro Avenue requires a seismic upgrade to the steel-framed apparatus bay that houses one engine and a ladder truck. The wood-framed single-story living quarters is set to be demolished and rebuilt.
The project will add a second story to elevate the living quarters above the flood zone. The new space will feature an elevator, accessibility upgrades, a new gym, a kitchen and separate sleeping and restroom space for male and female staff.
The wood-framed apparatus bay at Station 55 on Point San Pedro Road will receive a seismic retrofit. Like Station 54, the living quarters will be demolished and rebuilt, but in a single-story structure. The project will also add an onsite emergency generator.
The council approved the project with the addition of a $110,000 onsite fueling station. While not necessary, it was desired by fire officials.
“I think having additional fuel capabilities out here on the Point San Pedro peninsula is a wise move,” Vice Mayor Maribeth Bushey said.
“It will be nice to have all of our fire stations up to standard and modernized for every type of firefighter that we have,” Councilwoman Rachel Kertz said.
“This further demonstrates the commitment to bring San Rafael Fire Department and public safety into the 21st century with facilities that serve to ensure we meet our commitment of delivering the highest caliber and quality of service that we possibly can,” said San Rafael fire Chief Darin White. “The award-winning fire stations and public safety center are a direct reflection of the progressive, innovative and thoughtful approach our community will benefit from for decades to come.”
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