Plans to rebuild Menlo Park's downtown fire station at 700 Oak Grove Ave. just cleared another hurdle.
On Oct. 18, the Menlo Park Fire Protection District approved a contract for up to $7.5 million with Gonsalves and Stronck, a San Carlos-based construction company that has built three other fire stations in the fire district, according to Fire Chief Harold Schapelhouman.
Demolition of the old station is expected to happen in the next couple of months, and groundbreaking on the new station could occur before the end of this year, he said.
Firefighters who work at the station have moved to a residential property the fire district owns behind the station, and will stay there during construction. The move should have a minimal impact on firefighting operations from that site, Chief Schapelhouman said.
The new station would be 7,857 square feet and two stories, with a separate 1,003-square-foot building designed as a museum to showcase old and antique firefighting trucks and apparatuses, according to previous Almanac reporting. Currently, those pieces are housed in Station 1 on Middlefield Road.
The Oak Grove station, known as Station 6, is now 64 years old. Plans to rebuild and expand the station have been underway since 2007, when the district decided to work toward expanding the station to accommodate more personnel and equipment. In 2008, the district bought the adjacent residential property, enabling it to build a two-story building, as currently planned, Chief Schapelhouman said in a press statement.
Then, during the recession, work halted, and afterward, efforts went toward rebuilding and expanding the now 12,000-square-foot East Palo Alto fire station, completed earlier in April 2016, he said. That firefighting company is the district's busiest. The company housed at the Oak Grove station is the second-busiest.
Considering an expected increase in development, population growth and roadway congestion in the area, he said, "It’s a no brainer to rebuild in this location."