Shawnee city leaders broke ground on two outdated fire stations, which will see major renovations and additions in the coming years.
The latest: Shawnee officials held a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday at the John B. Glaser Fire Station Headquarters at 6501 Quivira Road, having recently awarded the construction contract on the $26 million project to Turner Construction, of Kansas City.
- Fire Station 73 at 6805 Hedge Lane Terrace is the other aging station up for major improvements.
Around 50 people, including Shawnee city councilmembers, state lawmaker and current and retired firefighters, turned out for the brief ceremonial shoveling.
What they said: “We are all on the same page with these upgrades and are looking forward to providing our men and women with the facilities and safety measures they deserve,” said Fire Chief Rick Potter. “It is our job to make sure we’re doing all we can so they can do their job to keep you safe in times of need.”
- Mayor Michelle Distler said the renovations have been on her wish list for years and noted the project has the support of the entire council.
The stations’ history: Design plans have been in the works for the past year, and the council awarded the contract last week.
- The Glaser headquarters was built in 1979 and was designed to be a combined police and fire station housing volunteers and limited staff.
- Its last renovation was in 1987, but it has continued to outgrow its space, according to a staff analysis.
- That station now holds 10 firefighters each shift, five Med Act personnel and nine fire administration employees.
- Fire Station 73 was built in 1989, intended for two full-time employees with four bays for vehicle bays. Now, there are four firefighters per shift and three ambulance employees.
Project details: Both stations will have aging mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems updated.
- Their interiors will also be upgraded, most notably to allow for more privacy for an increasingly co-ed firefighting force.
- There will also be changes in lighting and sound volume that will make the space less stressful for employees who must be on call to answer alarms at all hours.
- A new alerting system at both stations will be installed that will reduce the number of alerts firefighters hear that are not specific to their own shifts.
What else: The fire headquarters building will be reoriented with a new entrance for the administration staff, and new ambulance bays will be added that will help separate pedestrian traffic from emergency traffic.
- Fire Station 73 will get a 2,000-square-foot addition to its space to expand living quarters and a kitchen area.
What’s next? Construction is expected to be complete in late spring or early summer of 2024.
Go deeper in Shawnee fire station upgrades
For project updates, visit the city of Shawnee’s fire station project webpage.
Roxie Hammill is a freelance journalist who reports frequently for the Post and other Kansas City area publications. You can reach her at email@example.com.