Groundbreaking for one of two new South Elgin fire stations expected in October

Plans for two new fire stations in South Elgin — one which will replace the downtown station — are moving forward smoothly, with the first project expected to be completed by the end of July 2019, officials said.

The new stations will be at 498 South Elgin Blvd. and 1090 W. Spring St., the latter to replace the station at 150 W. Spring St. The district also has a fire station at 2055 McDonald Road.

Groundbreaking for the Station 23 on South Elgin Boulevard is expected in early October with completion by July 2019, South Elgin and Countryside Fire Protection District Assistant Fire Chief Mike E. Rothecker said.

Construction for Station 21 on Spring Street will start once groundwork is done at the station on South Elgin Boulevard, and is expected to be done by late fall 2019, he said.

“Knocking on wood, things have been going very smoothly,” Rothecker said. “We have had great cooperation from the community and the village.”

Voters in April approved a property tax increase to finance a $10 million bond issue for construction of the stations, and a levy increase to finance about $750,000 in salaries to hire more firefighters.

The village board is expected to give final approval for special use permits for the construction of the stations Aug. 20, director of administrative services Megan Golden said.

The fire district hired Lamp Inc. of Elgin as construction manager for both projects. The plan is to toggle construction crews between the stations to save on costs, Rothecker said. “We want to make sure we take advantage of saving every dollar we can,” he said.

The original architectural plans presented to voters in the spring largely remain unchanged aside from a minor modification to improve water runoff by moving about 50 feet south the footprint of the station on Spring Street, Rothecker said.

The station on Spring Street is estimated to cost about $6 million and the one on South Elgin Boulevard is estimated at about $3.5 million, Rothecker said. The projects are expected to go out for bids in September. “Once the bids are awarded we will have a better drill down on the final projected cost,” he said.

The district, which employees 30 full-time firefighters and 10 part-timers, has hired five more part-timers and will hire six more full-timers, likely in April, to staff the new station, he said.

The district plans to sell the current station downtown once the move is complete, he said. “Some folks in real estate will come out and give appraisals. We haven’t started the process yet.”