Plans for construction are underway for a new Public Safety Building to serve the Villages of Mount Horeb and Blue Mounds, and whole or parts of the Towns of Blue Mounds, Cross Plains, Perry, Primrose, Springdale, and Vermont. The building is planned to house both fire and emergency medical services (EMS) as well as the Mount Horeb Police Department. The Mount Horeb Area Joint Fire Department began studying the needs at the fire and EMS department as far back as 2007 when an advisory committee was formed to address the growing need to either upgrade the current fire station or replace it.
Feasibility and Space Needs Studies completed in 2013 and 2015 concluded the fiscally responsible choice was to begin a new station design process. Aside from the biggest issue, that both the fire and police stations simply do not have enough square footage, the studies found multiple other areas of need including inefficient electrical and mechanical systems, non-ADA compliance, inadequate bathrooms and lack of work space for employees.
In May 2016, a committee comprised of members of the Mount Horeb Area Joint Fire Department, the Mount Horeb Police Department, and the Mount Horeb Village Hall hired Bray Architects, through an open RFP and interview process, to lead the way toward a proper solution for all involved.
A meeting for clerks from each village or township occurred in early June to provide information of the current progress. Each municipality is also being visited by a Fire Department representative during a board meeting to answer questions to ensure that everyone has correct information and ample opportunity to ask questions. Each of the eight municipalities will decide their own approval process; the Village of Mount Horeb has committed to support the project by adding a referendum question on the November 2016 ballot.
The project timeline, if approved this fall would include bidding the project in 2017, beginning construction in 2018 with completion in the spring of 2019. Bray is currently updating space programming, creating a schematic design and assigning construction costs. A list of necessities has been created and will be considered in the design, with a goal of a building to suit both departments’ needs for 40-50 years.
As the process continues, opportunities to answer questions will be available through a series of open house, website updates, newspapers articles and Q&A sessions with the fire department.