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Fire Station One to become multi-use facility?

By Staff | Oct 4, 2010

Fire Station One, the building that acted as the city’s first fire station and city hall, might be resurrected as a multi-use facility in the CRA.
City Council is being asked to waive permit fees at a cost of $507 for the proposed improvements, which include not only remodeling the building but turning it into a community resource center.
Located at Chester and Lafayette streets, the building could have Department of Community Development, finance and police staff all working out of the location.
“I don’t want citizens thinking there’s going to be officers working there all the time … but it could be a place where people can walk to and pay a water bill or request a report, things like that,” said Capt. Lisa Barnes of the city’s police department. “There would be a city presence downtown.”
CRA Executive Director John Jacobsen said there are 57,000 households within five miles of the building.
He said the CRA board and staff supports the remodel project because they want the public to have access to the building.
Jacobsen also thinks having limited city services available in the city’s downtown is important.
“Thats why we’re behind it,” he said.
City Council previously approved $14,289 to remodel the building’s interior to convert it into a police substation in March.
Plans for the building have since expanded, and with it the price tag to improve the interior and exterior.
A group of volunteers have gotten together to try and salvage the building, not only as a workable facility offering city services but as a historic landmark.
The Cape Coral Construction Industry Association’s Rick Clark said plans call for $85,000 in work, but thinks when finished the cost will come in under that figure. He the funds needed to accomplish the remodel will be acquired, in part, through charitable donations.
Clark said the building is important for the city’s downtown and for its history.
“We’re going to help make the building look like it belongs downtown,” Clark said.
The CRA, the CCCIA, Kraft Construction, Jason Tramonte, the city of Cape Coral, Morris-Depew Associates and artist Martin Gembecki have all contributed their time and effort to the project.