October 30, 2004
Scottsdale is eyeing its Community Design Studio and a piece of vacant land beside it for the city’s new public fire department, which still needs a headquarters and new fire stations.
The design studio at 7506 E. Indian School Road is occupied by Planning and Development Department staff charged with designing neighborhood projects. That staff will be moved into Scottsdale’s main office building at One Civic Center, 7447 E. Indian School Road.
One Civic Center is being renovated to add about 9,000 square feet of office space, leaving the design studio empty when the staff move is complete.
The City Council on Monday will consider whether to begin negotiations to purchase the adjacent vacant land, Councilman Jim Lane said. If the city acquires that land, a fire station could be built where the design studio stands.
Lane said he would have preferred Scottsdale sell the design studio and create revenue for the city.
"It’s an expensive piece of property, but (staff is) figuring it’s the best place for a fire station," Lane said. "We’ve been busting (the budget) a little bit before this, so this won’t be new."
A new fire station has been planned to serve west Scottsdale and downtown, said Al Dreska, municipal services general manager. The project has been budgeted at $1.1 million.
The fire department, created in August, is operating with Chief William McDonald and assistant chief Steve Randall working in the Scottsdale human
Funds have already been budgeted for the department to find and lease a 15,000-square-foot building as its central office. The space will need to be near downtown with classrooms and training areas for the 255 new employees the fire department will hire in the coming months, Dreska has said.
McDonald has said his department might share administrative space with the police department or purchase an existing building and renovate it.
City spokesman Pat Dodds said a fire station is one option the council will consider.
Both Dodds and City Attorney Joseph Bertoldo initially refused to provide a specific location of the properties that Scottsdale may enter into negotiations to purchase, arguing those negotiations would be severely damaged by the release of such public information.