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Flat-roof fire stations gets council nod

A flat-roof design for three new fire stations in Medford received a thumbs up from the City Council on Tuesday.

The councilors indicated they preferred the contemporary horizontal proposal over a similar design that offered a more traditional gable roof.

“I’m not a big fan of the pitched roof,” Councilor Daniel Bunn said.

Both designs prepared by Straus & Seibert Architects LLP offered the same footprints and roughly the same brick and glass exterior. The buildings are designed to allow a lot of natural light inside.

The new fire stations have a total budget of $10.6 million that is being used to replace outdated stations throughout the city.

Fire Station 2 on West Eighth Street would be replaced at a new location on West Stewart Avenue so that it can handle multiple vehicles and multiple crews.

Fire Station 3 on Highland Avenue would be replaced and could be moved further to the south, away from a roundabout.

Fire Station 4 on Table Rock Road also would be replaced with an expanded drive-through bay, and a larger living quarters and office area.

The designs for fire stations 3 and 4 are similar and would be slightly bigger at 12,311 square feet, compared with Fire Station 2 at 9,730 square feet.

Some of the design elements suggested by University of Oregon students in the Sustainable Cities Initiative were incorporated into the overall look of the buildings, particularly the use of natural light.

Bunn said that while he likes the flat roof, he would prefer to see some additional architectural features added to the center portion of the building.

“Maybe something could be done to break up the roof line,” he said.

Fire Chief Brian Fish said an internal poll of firefighters showed that 38 liked the sloping roof and 10 liked the flat-roof design.

Despite that, he said firefighters will just be happy to get into new buildings.

“We’re excited about it,” he said.

The council also indicated it would support spending an additional $250,000 to build a metal building as a temporary location for Fire Station 4 after the old building is demolished to make room for the new structure. In addition, another $65,000 would be needed to buy a modular home.

Fish said that when construction of the new fire station is complete, the modular home could be moved to U.S. Cellular Community Park to serve as a caretaker’s house.

Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476 or email dmann@mailtribune.com. Follow on Twitter at @reporterdm.

City councilors favored a flat-roofed design, shown in this concept illustration, for three new Medford fire stations over a sloped-roof design on Tuesday. Courtesy of Greg McKown