Design innovations cater to health and wellness

Plans for a new fire station in Burnsville won City Council approval Tuesday.

The $18.6 million station will replace Fire Station 1, located north of County Road 42 on West 140th Street. Built in 1976 as the police headquarters, the first of Burnsville’s two fire stations has reached the end of its life, and the site isn’t suitable for a new station, according to the city.

The new station will be built south of County Road 42 at West 143rd Street and Newton Avenue. The need for a new station was tagged in a 2015 study of city facilities.

The 27,455-square-foot station will be on a 4.4-acre parcel surrounded by industrially zoned properties and a city-owned conservancy that is home to an oak savannah.

The new location west of the existing Station 1 “actually positions us well for the west side of town, which is a little more difficult to access currently,” Fire Chief B.J. Jungmann said.

GIS analysis shows that the location, with easy access to county roads 42 and 5, will enable the Fire Department to meet the city’s response-time expectations, Jungmann said.

The three-story station will include residential spaces for firefighters, apparatus bays, office space for administrative staff and firefighters, meeting spaces for department and public use, indoor and outdoor fitness areas and indoor and outdoor training features.

The project will include a “placemaking” and public art space.

The station will be attuned architecturally to the physical and mental health of the city’s combination firefighters and emergency medical responders, according to Garrett Beck, director of parks, recreation and facilities.

The station will have a “hot zone” apparatus bay where firefighters returning from a call shed their equipment, which often carries carcinogens and other hazardous materials, before returning to their living and work spaces, Beck said.

The building will have spaces where firefighters can decompress mentally after stressful calls, he said.

The building exterior will feature red composite panel material to highlight a fire station theme, along with dark brick and lighter limestone.

The number “1,” representing Fire Station 1, will be displayed in two locations.

A September groundbreaking is planned, with completion 14 months later.

The project will be funded by utility fees paid by all Burnsville ratepayers. The fees have already funded a police station remodel and police garage and renovations at City Hall.

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