Design Team to Focus on Community, Safety for New Fire Stations

Gail BryantNew Development

GLMV Architecture will lead the design of two new fire stations for the City of Lee’s Summit. The stations were part of a $19,475,000 no-tax-increase general obligation bond that voters approved in August 2019. Of the funds approved by voters, approximately $9 million has been allocated to replace Fire Station #4 and #5, which are currently the oldest fire stations in the city.

GLMV has extensive expertise in public sector projects, including work for the US Government, cities, counties, and the US Department of Veterans Affairs. GLMV is currently working on a fire station project for the City of Shawnee as well.

“We are privileged to work with communities and take great pride in helping to provide the tools they need to do their best work. Fire facilities are part of the arsenal of tools that enable the efficient delivery of public safety services to the citizens and businesses of Lee’s Summit. The public expects the highest levels of service to be delivered by their government officials and public servants and we consider our role in assisting the Lee’s Summit Fire Department as vitally important,” said Paul Michell, Managing Vice President of GLMV. “Serving those who serve others is a way of life for us.”

GLMV’s partners on the project include Lee’s Summit-based structural engineers Leigh + O’Kane, Hoss & Brown Engineers, Henderson Engineers, and LeMay Erickson Willcox Architects. McCownGordon Construction is engaged as the city’s construction manager for the project.

According to Michell, the fire stations will be between 10,000 and 12,000 square feet and will share the same design. Each will house an eight-person crew and include three apparatus bays. Space for physical and operational training will also be included.

Among the top considerations for the design, Michell said, is safety. According to the National Institutes of Health, firefighters are regularly exposed to contaminants as part of their jobs, putting them at increased risk of developing certain ailments such as cardiovascular disease, pulmonary disease, and cancer. According to information provided to voters by the city in 2019, neither of the fire stations currently has sufficient room for proper decontamination procedures, nor the appropriate separations between living areas and the apparatus bays where contaminants are first introduced into the fire stations. Thanks to a better understanding of these risks in recent years, Michell said modern fire station design can provide the capability to reduce the exposure fire fighters face.

“Through thoughtful building design we can reduce the possibility to bring those contaminants into the living areas,” said Michell.

Beyond protecting against the physical hazards of the job, Michell said it is also important to promote mental wellness in the design.

“Firefighters can see a lot of trauma in their day-to-day duties, so improving behavioral and mental health is a significant design consideration. The fire station should provide an environment that gives the crew opportunities to recover,” said Michell.

When given the opportunity, GLMV always strives for their team members to work on projects that hit close to home. GLMV’s project architect is a Lee’s Summit resident, as are the owners of Leigh + O’Kane, Adam O’Kane and Amanda Bush. According to O’Kane, Fire Station #4 and #5 are the stations that would respond to their homes were a fire or emergency to occur.

“We are just really excited to be part of something here as part of our local community. We’ve done fire stations around the metro, but this is our first in Lee’s Summit, in our hometown, so that’s definitely very exciting,” said O’Kane.

All the partners on the design team agree, they are honored to be able to work on a project that will improve response times and the overall wellbeing of the community.

“Our entire team is excited to be part of this important project in Lee’s Summit, helping first responders who are crucial to the safety and service to citizens of Lee’s Summit,” said Pat Contreras, Director of Business Development for McCownGordon.

Design of the fire stations is expected to be complete late this year, with construction to follow.