That was the scene six weeks ago at 35th/Holden (map) as Mayor Nickels, Fire Chief Gregory Dean, City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, local firefighters and many others gathered May 12th to break ground for West Seattle’s new Fire Station 37. At the time, we were told that bids were being reviewed, and we even got a list of the top three bidders (see the 8 pm addition). However, work hasn’t started yet, and we just noticed that the project is being re-advertised (see the call for bids here). So we asked the Fire Department what happened. Christina Faine, communications officer for the Fire Facilities and Emergency Response Levy program (passed by voters in 2003) that’s funding the project, explains:
The city discovered a material defect in our specifications and rejected all of the bids. There was a problem with the original specification that resulted in project construction risk. After careful discussions with other departments, we found the only way to avoid this risk was to rebid the project. It is not unusual to rebid a project. Construction is anticipated to begin in September 2009 and last a little over a year.
Here’s the new station’s design, from Miller Hayashi Architects:
Once the new Station 37 is built and occupied, the old one (35th/Othello) is to be sold – although, since it’s an official city landmark, there will be restrictions on what can be done with it. The re-advertisement for bids says the architects think the project will cost about $3.6 million; in the most recent financial report, the Station 37 budget is listed at $6.6 million. Faine says any savings will go to help revive fire-levy projects that have been delayed because of city budget woes.