Bothell’s fire station renovation project approved by state

City has received state approval for an alternative method to renovate two fire stations.

Bothell’s voter-approved reconstruction plans for Fire Station 42 and 45 are closer to becoming a reality after the city received approval from the state to pursue an alternative design and delivery method.

Plans to build new fire stations were informed by a 2018 study that showed future growth in Bothell would necessitate an increased need for services. Jeff Sperry, fleet and facilities manager with the Bothell Fire Department, said the current stations were built in the early 1970s and 1980s and are no longer meeting regulation standards for proper fire station operations.

The need to improve fire department facilities came to the voters in November 2018 with Proposition 2, a $35.5 million dollar bond to fund the reconstruction of the two buildings. The proposition was approved with almost 65 percent of voters in favor.

Fire Station 42 is in the south side of Bothell in King County, while Station 45 is in the northern Canyon Park area and part of Snohomish County. Station 45 will also include a satellite office for the police department.

With approval from the citizens, the city began moving forward on how to approach and design and construction of the project. Sperry said they are using an alternative delivery method where the city put out a request for qualifications (RFQ) for a designer and contractor team instead of the usual process that would hire a designer first and a contractor second.

“With alternative delivery methods, what this allows us to do is bring the designer and contractor on at the same time. It becomes a very iterative process and allows the two to work together,” he said. “With the complexity of the services involved, fire and aid, we felt it was the best method.”

Sperry said this method would allow the designer and contractor team to create a more efficient process and could help catch errors in design prior to construction.

“Right now for a government agency to use an alternative delivery method, we have to get approval from Washington state Capital Projects Advisory Review Board,” he said. “The city applied for the use of it and then on June 27 we presented to the board for use of alternative…As of June 28, we released our RFQ for a design and builder team.”

The deadline for RFQ applications was July 19, and city has begun the review process. Sperry said they plan to get through the design portion by the spring of 2020 and begin construction soon after. The city, he said, has a rough estimation that the first fire station will be ready to move into during the spring of 2022, but the timeline is still subject to change this early on in the process.