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Apopka City Council approves construction of Fire Station #6


The Apopka City Council, at its January 3rd meeting, voted unanimously to accept the bid from Miller Construction Management to build Apopka Fire Station #6.

It is a project that was first discussed in 2017.

According to the agenda packet for the January 3rd meeting, Apopka Fire Station #6 has 8,065 gross square feet under the roof; the total site and building cost amounts to approximately $456.02 per square foot. Staff reviewed price comparisons for several other municipal Fire Station builds within the last several years and determined that the dollar amount submitted by Miller Construction Management, Inc. is within the range comparatively.

According to the Staff Report, $2,028,000 was budgeted, and an additional amount of $2,282,580 will be requested via amendment in the FY23/24 budget.

In 2017, the AFD's vision was to stay ahead of the imminent growth curve by investing in two additional fire stations - #5 and #6. 

In 2021, Apopka received a $1-million grant from the State of Florida for the construction of the new station.

Fire Station #5 was the first opened in Apopka in 20 years.

In the temporary Fire Station #6, which opened in 2018, the AFD converted a 2,000-square-foot construction trailer and additional space on the hospital property into a temporary fire station.

Wylam believes construction of Fire Station #6 will begin this month and be completed within a year.

"Hopefully, we are going to break ground in the next week or two," he said. "That's the plan. I've actually had a conversation today with Miller Construction, and we're planning on doing that. With that, it's going to take a year, up to a year, to complete the permanent station six."

In 2021, Wylam made the case of a fully-staffed fire station, rendering overall faster and better outcomes for residents who require EMT or firefighting emergency services.

"By adopting a proactive approach to planning for those potential incidents that may happen in the future and moving forward with a permanent Station 6 facility, we are increasing our ability to effectively provide a high level of municipal fire protection and emergency medical services to our community," he said. "Response times will be significantly reduced to stakeholders in the southwest region of our City, thereby increasing survivability and better overall outcomes for our citizens involved in emergent events. A fully-staffed fire station responding to a fire scene allows firefighting operations to begin in a safe and proficient manner, which greatly reduces fire spread and decreases physical injuries or death. Also, reducing response times of EMS units decreases the overall transport times to advanced care for cardiac, stroke, or other needed specialized treatment."

Until its completion, the temporary location for Fire Station #6 is a bit up in the air, with both Wylam and Mayor Bryan Nelson offering different options.

"On November 30th of [2023], we were contacted by AdventHealth Apopka," Wylam said. "They're moving forward with their plans, and they're ahead of schedule with their build-out of the hospital's fifth and sixth floors. With that, they will need to know where our current station, temporary station six, is located for parking. That's kind of a phased-in approach they've been taking. So we're looking to move the temporary station to a semi-permanent location. For the time being, we've looked at a couple of different things, one of the things we wanted to prioritize right away was the response times. You know, we don't want to move from our general location of Harmon Road; we've done all the studies to put our permanent station there, and we want to make sure that we are moving forward and making sure that we're keeping that as the same response times from that area. And also location, what's available out there, a lot of things that are under construction, what we own, what we don't, and things of that nature. So we're looking at a couple of different options. And we're working through those, and we'll definitely keep everyone updated as much as we know."

But Nelson offered a different option.

"There's (another) option that we might just pave all the way around the trailer where it is now," he said. "And if it costs another $20,000 to come back when our station is open to take the trailer off, then that's the cheapest route for us. So that way, we wouldn't have to move the trailer, which would cost power, wastewater, and all that. So I think I think we'll end up that might be our, our way forward is to just pay it the differential between paving it all, you know, mediately in April whenever they need it, and waiting until we move the trailer off and then just repave that small footprint. So that's the hopefully that's the goal. We will be having another conversation here in the next couple of weeks to try to finalize that as an alternative."

Apopka Fire Department, Apopka City Council, Apopka, Apopka Fire Station #6


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