CCCIA looking for donations for Fire Station One renovations
The Cape Coral Construction Industry Association is looking for donations from its members to rehabilitate Fire Station One.
When completed, the building will become the “Chester Street Resource Center,” a multi-use facility housing several city services like a police substation and customer billing.
CCCIA Executive Director Heather Mazurkiewicz said the project had been discussed for at least six months prior to her taking the position following the death of Patti Schnell.
Mazurkiewicz said the members are being asked for any help they can provide.
“We’re asking our members to donate time, labor, materials — whatever they can, to this project,” she said.
Renovations will also include a memorial to former Schnell, who died earlier this year after battling cancer.
Mazurkiewicz said Schnell was a champion for not only Cape Coral’s construction industry, but for the city in general.
“We’re always looking for projects to get involved with,” Mazurkiewicz said. “And once the (CCCIA) board realized this was going to be a resource center for the community, they thought it would be fitting to have memorial to Patti, considering what a resource she was to the community, not just the association.”
Cape Coral City Council had previously approved to waiving permit fees, totaling about $500, for the planned renovation.
Council also approved $14,289 to remodel the building’s interior to convert it into a police substation in March.
Known as Fire Station One, the building also holds an important historical component, as it once served as the original city hall, community center and, of course, the first fire station.
CRA board member Frank Dethlefsen has led the charge to first preserve, then renovate, the old city hall.
“This building is one of our oldest buildings,” Dethlefsen said. “We thought we may go after the historical designation, but it wasn’t old enough, even though it still has historic significance … it’s going to memorialize some of the city’s history.”
Dethlefsen said it was important to bring together several public and private entities to make the project a reality. 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.
“There’s always that myth that the CRA is not working with the city, or vice versa. That’s not true,” Dethlefsen said. “This project is bringing together the city, the CRA and the business community. It there were heartaches, it doesn’t show in projects like this.”
It’s unclear when the projected completion date is for the renovation.