Opening of One of KCFR’s New Stations has been Pushed Back

Kootenai County Fire & Rescue
By BILL BULEY
Staff Writer | April 14, 2023 1:09 AM
CDA Press

COEUR d’ALENE — The opening of one of Kootenai County Fire and Rescue’s new stations has been pushed back about a year.

But Fire Chief Chris Way is confident the scaled-back Station 4 at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds will remain on schedule.

“We’re back on track,” he said in a recent interview with The Press.

He said they initially estimated the 13,500-square-foot station could be built for $3.9 million, about $250 a square foot.

The lowest bid, however, came in at well over $300 a square foot.

“We had to revise the plan,” Way said.

The size of the station was reduced to about 9,500 square feet by eliminating one of three apparatus bays, training space, two rooms and two bathrooms.

“We retooled it to come back at $3.9 million,” Way said.

Way said the new station will provide better coverage of Dalton Gardens, Fernan and east of Coeur d’Alene.

The underground utility work for Station 4 is completed and it is now projected to open next spring.

It had been initially planned to open this summer.

Construction should begin soon.

“People want to see walls and we are in the same boat,” he said.

The station was designed by Miller Stauffer Architects and will be built by Ginno Construction.

The current Station 4 by the Kroc Center is nearly 50 years old and will be closed and sold.

The project is being funded by a $15 million general obligation bond that received 78% voter approval, 6,252 yes to 2,856 no votes, May 18, 2021.

Way said they have a responsibility to build within the bond amount approved by taxpayers.

He said like most construction projects during the pandemic, costs unexpectedly rose.

“We still have to build the other stations,” he said.

The bond also calls for a new Station 3 at Charleville and Prairie Avenue.

A new Station 5 will be built on Seltice Way by KCFR’s training center.

Both are in different stages of planning and design.

KCFR is also moving today into temporary space at its training center while its new headquarters is built.

This is not part of the bond, Way said, but was funded by the sale of the old headquarters and other property.