Faced with old facilities and the first signs of growth set to transform the city in Seattle’s tech-era boom, voters in 2003 approved the Fire Facilities and Emergency Response Levy and plan to rebuild 32 fire stations in neighborhoods across Seattle. A new Station 22 was forecast to cost $4.85 million under estimated construction costs at the time. 15 years later, the state of the art E Roanoke station hosted neighbors for a Saturday open house and peace pole planting.
Station 22’s final price tag? More than $13 million.
Completed late last year and back in operation since December, the new station Saturday showcased its larger, environmentally friendly facility for neighbors and fire truck aficionados.
The new Station 22 has more than doubled the space of the original, expanding the 1964-built structure from about 4,000 square feet to 10,000 square feet. The two-story station designed by Weinstein A/U has a concrete hose tower, and a brick and glass façade and is designed to be eco-friendly, with a LEED gold certification, including solar panels, an underground stormwater cistern which will provide 100% of the station’s non-drinking water needs, permeable pavers in public areas, and a host of other sustainable features.
As part of Saturday’s open house, the Seattle Rotary Club planted a “Peace Pole” in front of the station. “May peace be with you” is written in several languages on the pole.
The E Roanoke opening marks the completion of one of the final station overhauls of the 32 in the original levy. Critics of government spending have had a field day with the soaring budgets for the projects — 14 of the 32 exceeded the original 2003 estimates by 100% or more.
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But for the Roanoke example, at least, the budget jump was mostly a function of time and increasing construction costs as Seattle’s building boom took hold.
In the years following the levy’s approval, city officials chose to hold off on Station 22 construction as plans for rebuilding SR-520 were being shaped. There was a time when it seemed the state might have needed to take the land the station sits on for the 520 project, so the city wanted to make sure not to spend millions in renovation costs only to have the building removed, CHS reported in 2016.
Construction finally began in May 2016 in a much more expensive construction environment with a budget more than one and a half times the 2003 original.
The station is home to a single engine, an officer and three firefighters on duty at any given time, with a total staff of 16 firefighters assigned to the station working in four shifts. The fire house is headquarters for Engine 22 and SFD’s Communications and Command Van.