Construction on Kittitas Valley Fire and Rescue’s new main fire station on Mountain View Avenue is starting.
After a groundbreaking ceremony Monday, contractors began putting up security fencing and started surveying the building site on Tuesday. Crews with heavy equipment will begin site preparation likely early next week.
KVFR selected a $5.76 million bid April 21 for a 12,000-square-foot KVFR district main fire station. Firefighters likely will move in June 2016 from cramped space at the KVFR station and Ellensburg Police Department building in the 100 block of North Pearl Street.
“We believe moving in sometime next June is something doable, and it might happen a little earlier,” KVFR Deputy Chief Rich Elliott said on Tuesday.
The new facility has been a long time coming, Elliott said, and seeing construction is the culmination of work by many in past years, including the voters in Ellensburg and in the former county Fire District 2.
KVFR District Commission Chairman Pat Clerf, a volunteer firefighter with KVFR for 25 years, said he heartily thanks the voters who passed a bond levy in April 2014 to raise the funds to build the new station on the former Mackner truck scales property.
The vote was 69 percent yes, and 31 percent no.
“There’s been so many people who’ve supported us in this endeavor,” Clerf said on Tuesday. “Everything seems to be in line now for the people to start to see the building going up, see what they approved.”
Elliott said a study of emergency calls indicated the Mackner scales site was a good location. It’s closer to freeway and county highway access to outlying valley areas, reduces fire and ambulance crews from having to navigate through central city traffic, and is closer to areas where more than 40 percent of the calls originate.
The six-block area around the site has assisted living facilities, nursing homes, KVH Hospital and associated clinics.
KVFR has nine fire stations around the Kittitas Valley, including a Vantage Highway facility that’s a station and quarters for up to seven firefighters who stay there around the clock.
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