WESTFIELD TOWNSHIP – Township trustees are working to reduce the budget of the proposed fire station after township and Westfield Center village voters rejected a $5 million bond issue in May.
Trustee Jim Likley said his fellow trustees and fire department lead met recently with the project’s architect, DS Architecture of Kent, to start looking into revising the design.
“We’re looking at the structure itself and the type of building,” he said. “We want to get the best structure that the residents will support.”
The new station will be located on a 6.3-acre plot off of U.S. 224 and Leroy Road in Westfield Center, with the rear of the property backing onto Virginia Drive, a residential street. It will replace the current station further south on Leroy Road in the village, which is around 60 years old and too small for the department’s needs.
Likley said the goal is to lower the building’s construction cost to around $2.6 million, just over half of the original amount. The proposed changes will have to be determined soon, as trustees wish to place a new bond issue on the November ballot; the filing deadline with the Medina County Board of Elections is in early August. An exact dollar amount and amount of time for the bond is yet to be determined.
The project will be completed using the design-build method, where the design and construction services are contracted by one contractor, which Likely said allows trustees to have more information up front that with traditional methods, where an architect completes a design and the construction phase is bid out.
A $5 million, 30-year bond issue was soundly defeated in May, with nearly 70 percent of township and village voters voting no. If approved, the new station would have been 14,500 square feet and included more room for vehicles, shower facilities for firefighters to use after calls, which is lacking at the current location, a kitchen, sleeping quarters, meeting room, rec room and triage room.
Likley said he was told by opponents of the bond issue they were in favor of a new station, but thought the design was too expensive and the length of the bond too long.