Liberty Twp. has hired an architect to design a new fire station for $530,000. The trustees switched the spot for the station to a more centrally located area they believe will eliminate the need for two new stations. GREG LYNCH / STAFF

New Liberty Twp. fire station could be ‘hybrid’ to bring down $6.6M cost

The trustees were poised to award a $530,000 architectural contract Tuesday night to design the new fire station on Princeton Road at Cincinnati Dayton Road. The total cost to build and furnish the new station 112 was estimated at $8.25 million. The township is replacing the old station located next to the Lakota School Bus depot on Yankee Road.

Trustee Tom Farrell said the price tag was too high, so with the help of MSA Architects, officials are looking into a hybrid structure. He said a hybrid model means some of the building — probably the garage bays in this instance — is prefabricated and then assembled on site.

“That’s what we are currently discussing, is how we find a good compromise that gives us functionality but brings the cost down to something that’s fair and equitable,” Farrell said. “We also don’t want to compromise quality from the standpoint to expect this building to be standing 50 years from now, so we don’t want to cheapen it and make it somebody else’s problem.”

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Trustee Board President Steve Schramm said he expected to pay about $5 million for a building. He said if the costs don’t come down with a hybrid building, he might even consider a metal building, but that option has its drawbacks too.

“A metal building is by far the least expensive way that you can build, it also has some life-cycle costs, issues, that make it less desirable than traditional construction,” Schramm said. “It doesn’t last as long and requires more maintenance. I’d be willing to accept something between a maintenance issue versus a life-cycle issue.”

The total estimate does not include the $550,000 land purchase, according to Farrell. The trustees originally purchased a $384,000 parcel on Cincinnati Dayton Road north of Millikin Road for a new fire station. The Princeton Road site is a better, more centrally located piece of real estate that will eliminate the need for two new stations. The fire station savings could reach $800,000 to $1 million per year, according to officials.

Farrell said the 19,500-square-foot building might be too big and the township might have to consider reducing the size initially and add on later. He said MSA will be bringing them options so they can “find out how we can best serve the residents at the lowest cost.”

Schramm said the contract price with the architects can be negotiated down as well with cheaper construction costs. He said that happened recently with the new $4.8 million administration building under construction on Ohio 747 between Princeton and Millikin roads, when the price dropped from the $5.2 million estimate.

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