Village Board’s green light to Sheboygan firm doesn’t mean firm commitment to building project
The Fredonia Village Board has agreed to find out if a Sheboygan-based construction company can fulfill its promise of designing a fire station addition at a price much lower than originally projected.
Finding a way to address the space needs of the Fredonia Fire Department has been an ongoing concern, especially with the industry trend toward larger pieces of firefighting equipment.
Other budget priorities — including the reconstruction of Fredonia Avenue — kept delaying the project, especially when a preliminary study by Strand Associates estimated it would cost as much as $2.5 million to build a new 13,000-square-foot fire station.
That same study said a 7,500-square-foot addition to the station on South Milwaukee Street would cost $1.8 million.
In August, Gary Gartman of Quasius Construction approached Fire Chief Brian Schommer, saying his firm could come up with building options that were significantly less costly.
The unsolicited proposal suggested the department could meet its space needs for as much as $1 million less than the Strand plan.
The Quasius proposal, which was broken down into pre-construction planning and construction management, was forwarded to the ad hoc fire station planning committee for more detailed consideration.
Committee members liked what they saw in the company’s proposal and asked the village to authorize the planning process to begin.
The village will not be charged for pre-planning services that can be provided by the firm’s staff. Costs would be incurred if outside specialists have to be hired.
Components of the pre-construction work would include: design and develop conceptual site plans, floor plans and elevations; develop project scope and specifications; prepare construction cost estimates; and prepare detailed budget estimates for village review.
Public Works Director Roger Strohm said the Quasius package was appealing because there are no up-front costs for the village.
“They have suggested several options, and there is no cost to us to get started,” Strohm said.
“At some point, they will need to go to an architect, and that is when the bills would start.”
When the plan first arrived this summer, it got a favorable review from Fire Chief Brian Schommer.
“My officers were all very impressed with this plan. It makes good use of the building, and I have no problem with a plan that costs $1 million less,” Schommer told trustees this summer
Village President Don Dohrwardt asked trustees if they wanted the company to resubmit its proposal, but with the revised version addressed to the village rather than Schommer.
Trustees were less concerned about the formality, and approved proceeding with the proposal despite it being addressed to the fire chief.
Officials stressed that authorizing the company to begin the pre-construction planning does not commit the village to a timetable on the project.
When trustees noted that the Fredonia Lions Club food stand might get in the way of any building project, Schommer waved off the issue.
“We are probably a few years away from that,” he said.