Sand Springs City Officials and the Sand Springs Fire Department broke ceremonial ground on a new $1.5 million facility in Prattville Tuesday morning. Builders for the project are contractually required to take no longer than 240 days to complete the new Fire Station No. 2.
"It's a momentous event for us in Sand Springs and me as a Fire Chief," said Mike Wood. "After 21 plus years here, this is a very exciting day."
According to Wood, the existing Fire Station No. 2 was constructed in 1967 after the Harry S. Pratt Family Trust sold the property to the City for $10. Originally the property housed a parking bay for the trucks, and the living quarters weren't added till the 1980s.
The new fire station will be single-story, which Wood says will make it safer for firefighters. "We did suffer one (injury) several years ago on the pole, so we're keeping everything down on a single level. Even though this station has served us well, it was really not purpose-built. Not for the day we live in today and the things we try to do in our job." The new building will also have private shower rooms for the first time, opening the door to potentially hiring the department's first female firefighter in the future.
"For the last several years, we've had pretty major issues with trying to maintain this building," said Wood. "We've had a lot of challenges. As our job changes and our tasks changed, we've added a lot of features to the fire department that just don't fit in a station that was designed in 1966. We physically have to shovel snow out from in front of these bay doors if it snows during the night before we can get a truck out. That's not a good way to operate."
The project is funded via the Vision 2025 Sales Tax Extension, with the land purchased using funds from a 2006 General Obligation Bond passage. The building will be constructed slightly south and east of the current station, allowing the older facility to remain functional until construction is complete.
"It's a tremendous day for Sand Springs," said Wood. "We've got a lot of stuff going on in Sand Springs right now. You hear in the background that QuikTrip is going at full force, Braums is going in down the road. A lot of growth in River West. Hopefully here in just a few weeks we'll be doing a ground breaking on a $10 million facility downtown that will house police and fire. This is all attributed to the citizens of Sand Springs passing those initiatives and helping us build these projects. Some of these are long overdue."
"This has been sort of a long process, but we wanted to do it right and make sure that we build a station that we can be proud of and that will serve our citizens for years to come. I think we've done that."
"Staff did an excellent job of putting this together," said Mayor Mike Burdge. "They all pitched in and helped us sell it to everybody. It's a great project. We're more than just a little bit please with our fire department. We have the best public safety organizations in the metro area, bar none."