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Work set to begin on new city fire station

Contractors for Lawton's second new fire station are on site, preparing for construction.

Rich Construction won the $4.198 million contract in September 2017 to build a new Fire Station No. 2, located on the northern boundary of Lawton-Fort Sill Regional Airport. While the station will retain a crew dedicated to responding to aviation-related emergencies at the airport, it also will provide fire protection for south Lawton and is part of Lawton Fire Department. The new facility will replace a station built in the 1970s that now has structural problems.

The project was delayed for several months as the contractor, city and airport officials, and the airport's engineer analyzed the project to find cost savings. The Metropolitan Area Airport Authority (the airport's governing board) voted on those $223,000 worth of deductions in January, approving changes to the station's facade and mechanical system, as well as agreeing to less paving outside the station.

Tuesday, airport authority members also approved a $7,560 change order to the fire station's design contract, meaning the project engineer was tasked with re-designing the mechanical system from a single unit to multiple units to meet the value engineering changes approved last month.

Airport Director Barbara McNally said Tuesday that Rich Construction was issued its notice to proceed on Feb. 14, and the firm now is on site moving supplies to begin construction and erecting a fence that will protect the construction project. The construction contract is set for 450 days, or about 18 months, McNally said. That means Lawton will have its second new fire station (following Fire Station No. 8, which opened in southwest Lawton last spring) before the new public safety facility is slated for completion on Railroad Street. The new public safety facility will be home to the firefighting crews of Central Fire Station, giving Lawton three new fire stations in as many years.

The new south Lawton station will be built alongside the existing Station No. 2, so fire crews can continue to use the existing facility until the new station is operational.

A majority of the station's construction funds are coming from federal funding allocated by the Federal Aviation Administration, although the project also received $685,000 from the Oklahoma Strategic Military Planning Commission and $600,000 from the Comanche County Industrial Development Authority.

In a related item, McNally said the airport should be ready to let bids within the next week for a project to repaint runway and taxiway markings.

The Lawton Constitution

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