Work could begin as early as May on an estimated $2.4 million renovation to Bartlett's Fire Station 2, according to officials.
Bartlett Fire Protection District Chief Michael Falese said when the station, at 501 Struckman Blvd., opened in 1985, it was used by two or three first responders who were coming from home and not sleeping at the station. Now, it houses five to six full-time firefighters, along with a fire engine and an ambulance.
"It was built for a different use," Falese said. "Every single room has some deficiencies."
Falese said the station has "essentially one tiny office" and no meeting rooms. He said there also are no separate locker room facilities for females and the infrastructure underneath the building is in such bad shape, raw sewage comes into the station several times a year.
"That's just something we have to address," he said.
Residents are invited to learn more about the project during a neighborhood meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, March 11, at the Bartlett Park District Community Center Oak Room, 700 S. Bartlett Road.
The proposed renovation will involve the demolition of the western side of the building and expansion of the current 2,418-square-foot living quarters to 5,948 square feet. It also includes a new parking lot and the installation of a 30-foot communication tower that could eventually be as high as 100 feet.
Jim Plonczynski, the village's community development director, said the proposal is being reviewed by the zoning board of appeals and plan commission and will likely go to the village board for final approval in late April or early May.
"This is a fire district project totally," Plonczynski said. "The village is not financing this."
Falese said the district has about $2 million saved for the project. Another $200,000 will be coming from a grant from the state, and the remaining $200,000 will be borrowed.
Falese said he hopes demolition of everything except the parts where the engine and ambulance are stored will occur around May 1. Firefighters will be moved out of the building by the end of April, and an alternative response plan will be put in place until work is complete, which Falese estimates may be by the end of this year.
The district has throughly analyzed data about response times and will get help from the Hanover Park Fire Department. "Response times are not going to change a lot," Falese said.
The district started discussing the project more than four years ago and spent months reviewing options, including moving to a new location or completely demolishing the building.
The location of the station, the busiest of the three in Bartlett, is ideal, and it was determined money could be saved modifying the current building, Falese said.
"We're very conscious of the tax dollars that the residents trust us with and I mean that from my heart," he said, adding that the district has already looked at more than 100 competitive bidders for various parts of the project.
"It's a fairly simple look," he said of the design of the addition. "This is a very conservative project."
Anyone who is unable to attend the community meeting but wants to speak with someone about the project can call (630) 837-3701.
Renovate: Fire station is the village's busiest