The new Waukesha Fire Station No. 3 will look a lot like station Nos. 2 and 5.
The city's plan commission unanimously approved final site and architectural plans for the new station, which currently sits at 1210 Sentry Drive, at its mid-December meeting. Relocating station No. 3 has been discussed for years, and the plan took major strides forward this year when the city acquired the land on which it will construct the station and hired an architectural firm to design it.
Fischer-Fischer-Theis Inc., a local firm, designed the building. FFT Inc. also designed Waukesha fire stations Nos. 2 and 5.
The city's public works department is expected to bid out the project next month.
The new, roughly 15,700-square-foot station will be situated on the northeast corner of Highways 59 and X, directly west of St. John Neumann Catholic Church.
The parish owned the property and sold it to the city for $420,000. The current Fire Station No. 3 is about 2 miles, or five minutes, northeast of where the new station will stand.
Because the new building is similar in size to stations 2 and 5, and was designed by the same company, the new structure will resemble those buildings.
The new building will house a fire station and a police substation, according to planning documents and city staff. That use is consistent with the original vision for the project, which also included a new parks, recreation and forestry building.
City staff said at the meeting that the new station could accommodate a new parks building, but the plans presented to the commission did not include that addition.
According to the public works department, construction of the station will begin in April 2017. There was no immediate timetable for how long it will take. The project is estimated to cost around $3.36 million.
City officials have said a new fire station is needed along that particular stretch of Highway 59 so the fire department can better meet its seven-minute response time goal in a small section of that portion of the city ,which has seen its boundaries expand over the last several years.
Alderman Aaron Perry, whose district includes the area around the new station, spurred talk about the department's response times there in July 2013 after the department took almost 10 minutes to respond to a house fire in the 1600 block of Moccasin Trail.
The council previously voted to relocate Fire Station No. 2, from 1701 Stardust Drive to 1714 Pearl St., which at the time was also outside the seven-minute response time goal. That station moved in 2012.