The Daily Herald reported on July 14th that crews will break ground next month for a new fire station in Palatine.

Palatine Fire Department Station 81 rendering

An artist rendering of the new building for Palatine Station 81. Source; The Daily Herald

Palatine residents getting used to the police headquarters construction will soon notice hard hats at a second public safety-related work site.

Crews are expected to break ground within 30 to 45 days on a satellite fire station at 1215 N. Quentin Road, located at the corner of Echo Lane.

The village council on Monday unanimously approved a contract that sets the guaranteed maximum price for construction at $2.56 million. That factors in subcontractor bids, construction contingency, construction manager fee and bond cost.

When combined with planning, design, furnishings and other administrative costs, the total project is coming in at $2.98 million, or just under the $3 million budget.

The village’s burden could prove less if the state releases a $575,000 commitment to the project through its capital plan. Palatine isn’t counting on it and is prepared to secure funding through other means.

“We’re planning for the worst, meaning that we don’t get anything,” Village Manager Reid Ottesen said. “Realistically, I’d put it at a 50-50 chance right now.”

Next month, Palatine will initiate the first of two bond issues in order to fund both the fire station and the much larger $23 million police headquarters. The decision was made to secure funding in two phases, Ottesen said, because the buildings won’t be ready until next year and there’s no point in borrowing the full amount upfront just to pay interest on it.

Earlier this year, the 8,700-square-foot building’s design was scaled back to come in under budget. Changes were mostly cosmetic, though accommodations were reduced to change the maximum number of personnel from six to five firefighters.

The cost savings could be partly erased if the village doesn’t agree to waive its automatic sprinkler requirement in the noncombustible attic space.

The satellite fire station should be operational by March or April. The Dundee Road station will close, and the Masonic Lodge will take over the space.

Fire officials say the new station is necessary in order to improve response times to west and northwest Palatine compared to the current station.

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