This rendering shows the proposed new Macomb Township public safety building, which would house the Fire Department and Macomb County Sheriff’s Office. The final plans were approved in June by the Board of Trustees.

This rendering shows the proposed new Macomb Township public safety building, which would house the Fire Department and Macomb County Sheriff’s Office. The final plans were approved in June by the Board of Trustees.

Rendering provided by Jason Arlow

Plans for new public safety building get final approval

Project estimated to cost around $12 million

By: Joshua Gordon | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published July 18, 2018


MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Plans are complete for the new public safety building in Macomb Township and the hope is for the project to get underway by October and be completed no later than early 2020.

Jason Arlow, with Shelby Township-based Anderson Eckstein & Westrick, presented final plans to the Macomb Township Board of Trustees at the June 27 meeting. The plans were unanimously approved, and the board also approved a bond amount for the project not to exceed $15 million.

The project, located at the corner of 23 Mile Road and Alma Drive, and east of Romeo Plank Road, will update the existing fire station as well as create more space for the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office, which currently operates out of a substation on the property.

Arlow said the project started last summer as a 21,000-square-foot building and has grown to 37,000 square feet in the final design plans. The main reasons for the increase, Arlow said, is they more than doubled the size of the fire apparatus bay to almost 9,000 square feet, as well as added dorm rooms on the second floor for the firefighters.

The apparatus bay will have five drive-through bays. The building will also include space for 14 Sheriff’s Office vehicles, offices for both fire and police personnel, shared break rooms and kitchens, and locker rooms for firefighters and deputies.

“Once we started the original design process, the first thing we did was look at what was originally anticipated in the request for proposals and then sit down and start programming,” Arlow said. “We added some spaces that we thought were critical and needed to be considered to be implemented.”

Arlow said the plans received approval from the Planning Commission in April and the next step is to submit for permit reviews. Then the project will go out for bid with the goal of receiving all bids by the end of August and then reviewing and interviewing contractors before making a final recommendation and awarding the contract.

Arlow said AEW looked at a number of plans because of the communications tower that is on the property, including removing it. The township had spent $6,000 on site plans if they had acquired the necessary property to remove the tower, but no acquisition was made.

The corner of 23 Mile and Alma will be a major focal point, Arlow said, with a tower feature there housing the main entrance. There was an emphasis on maximizing the space by having as much shared space as possible, Arlow said, with both the Sheriff’s Office and fire personnel willing to do so.

“One of our intents of the design is for the building to fit in well with the residential area and also maintain the identity as an important municipal building and fire station,” Arlow said. “I think we have done that.”

Arlow said a final determination has not been made on the roofing material. The plans call for asphalt shingles, but Arlow said he would like the bidding process to include pricing for a metal roof, which could have double the lifespan of a shingle roof.

The building is meant to last around 50 years as the community grows, Arlow said, as well as manage what is needed now. Trustee Tim Bussineau said anticipated growth was key for the design.

“When you look at a building like this, our township is still growing and still scheduled to grow,” Bussineau said. “That building is really meant to house more Sheriff’s vehicles and fire trucks if we need them. It is meant to handle our growth a little bit.”

The building will be completed in two phases, expected to start in October. The first phase will see the demolition of the current Sheriff’s Office substation and the building of the fire apparatus bay so fire operations can continue during construction.

Once the fire apparatuses have moved over, the current fire station will be demolished at the start of the second phase, followed by the building of administration offices and the Sheriff’s Office garage.

Arlow said estimates have the project costing just under $12 million. However, Fire Chief Robert Phillips and Finance Director Stacy Smith asked the board to approve bonds for not to exceed $15 million to cover bids if they are higher than anticipated.

“We are only going to sell the bonds for what the bid comes in at, which we estimate to be around $12 million,” Smith said. “The interest rates, we are not sure what it will be yet, but they will not exceed 6 percent and we are hoping quite a bit lower and thinking closer to 4 percent.”