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Superior will see a new main fire station as soon as November of this year. The new station will be double the size of the current station and will stand in the same location at Tower Avenue and 34th Street. The $5 million project was approved in 2015 and is now making momentum in the building process.
The current station was built in 1980, according to fire chief Steve Panger. He said at that time there were no female firefighters in Superior and the fire trucks were smaller.
The current building is about 10,000 square feet which includes offices, a training room, kitchen and living quarters. Where firefighters sleep presently, their only privacy is a curtain. They share this room with exercise equipment. Panger said when the station was built, they did not include any closets so storage has been a growing issue over the years. A study was done for all three stations to see how effective the stations were and what needed to be improved.
“When we looked at the headquarter station we found it wasn’t really meeting our needs,” said Panger. “Initially that study was done in 2014 and when we looked at this building the biggest thing was space. Things have changed a bit since the ‘80s; rigs have changed, equipment needs have changed. We have a lot more equipment. So we needed to address those space issues.”
The new station will be about 20,000 square feet. Each firefighter on duty will have a private dormitory. A workout room will be located near by as well as gender-inclusive bathrooms. Fire fighters in Superior work 24-hour shifts and then have 48 hours off. The training room will also be much larger and offer storage space for equipment used for training.
Another issue with the current space is being able to clean uniforms after returning from an emergency, fire or medical-related. The new station will have two laundry rooms, one for post-emergency cleaning and one for general use.
“If you come back from a fire or you come back from a medical you can [decontaminate] and get out of those clothes and get into clean clothes or get out of your dirty gear and all of that, basically process, is in a dirty area so none of that gets pulled into a clean area. It’s really hard to do that right now,” he said.
Despite the new building being double the size, it will use the same amount of energy as the current one. Panger said energy efficiency was a priority in the new building design.
The new station is projected to be completed in full by spring of next year.
“Right now we are requesting proposals for the build. We anticipate having the builder contracts approved by March and anticipate breaking ground in May,” said Panger. “The new station should be completed by say November of this year. Then we will move into the new station and take basically everything we can use out of the current station.”
The new station is financed through the city’s capital improvement fund.
Superior school administrator awarded
Superior Middle School Director of Curriculum and Instruction Crystal Hintzman has been awarded the Outstanding Administrator Award from the Wisconsin State Reading Association (WSRA).
Administrators were nominated for the award if they demonstrated outstanding leadership in the field of literacy and are an advocate for reading, according to the WSRA guidelines.
Superior Middle School announced Hintzman won the award over Facebook on Monday to many congratulations.
Students and faculty continue to protest UWS administration
Students of the University Wisconsin-Superior returned to school on Jan. 22. Many wore red in solidarity opposing the academic program suspensions.
On Halloween Day 2017, the UWS administration announced they were suspending 25 majors, minors and graduate programs to significant dismay of the campus community.
“I wear red to protest the decision to abruptly suspend over a dozen programs without consulting the entire faculty the university’s students and staff,” said senior Megan McGarvey.
UWS Chancellor Renee Wachter has not responded to multiple interview requests from the Reader.