Architectural firm brings fire station experience
A Sioux Falls architect with Pipestone, Minn., roots is the lead in designing the new Flandreau fire station. Dave Van Nieuwenhuyzen, office manager for JLG Architects in Sioux Falls and principal design architect for the project, will use his experience in industrial and government design on the Flandreau building. “That’s why we felt we were a good fit for the project,” he said. JLG has other experience designing fire stations, including a new one on the south side of Brookings. Van Nieuwenhuyzen grew up in Pipestone, attended North Dakota State University in Fargo, N.D., and has been a licensed architect for more than 20 years. The firm, a regional company based in North Dakota, was one of four interviewed by city and community representatives before the Flandreau City Council voted recently to approve a contract with JLG. The other firms interviewed were RSA out of Sioux Falls, HKG out of Aberdeen and RML out of Sioux City, Iowa. City Administrator Jeff Pederson researched firms that would be a good fit for the Flandreau project and made some initial phone calls before the committee interviewed each one over an online meeting on Zoom. The firms made presentations based on a prospectus the city provided, stating in general terms what the city is looking for in a fire station. The committee met last week with the firm representatives to work on design plans, and the group has one more meeting planned. “This is the most significant structure the city would ever construct here in my opinion. It’s also intended to be a long-lasting structure,” Pederson said. The building is being planned to last at least 50 years. The volunteer fire department has outgrown its space on Third Avenue and stores some of its bigger equipment off site because the rigs don’t fit in the building. The city purchased roughly a city block of property for $170,000 across the street, south of the Moody County Courthouse, for a new station. Because of the location, the building should fit the area around it, in design, Pederson said. “We think it needs to be reflective of where it’s located and be complementary of what’s across the street.” It also will have to be durable, withstand the elements and be safe for volunteers who will work out of it. Because there is space on the property, the committee is looking at whether the building could include drive-thru bays for equipment and added safety, he said. Depending on the final size of the building, envisioned at 8,000 to 10,000 square feet, a cost will be established. Although it hasn’t yet been figured out, the project cost could top $1 million, Pederson said. “The important thing here is to determine what is needed and to do so for what is the needs for a facility to be functional for decades,” he said. The city has about $750,000 in its capital improvements fund but also would consider financing the fire station project. Pederson said the community has a list of several needs that the capital improvement money can be used for, including removal of the dam on the Big Sioux River. Pederson also will apply for Community Development Block Grant money to help with the expenses of the fire station, but in the past much of those awards have gone to water and sewer projects in communities. Flandreau received about a half million for its water and sewer project four years ago. The city also will consider a rural development low-interest loan from the Rural Development Association. That makes sense for a number of reasons,” Pederson said. In addition to being low interest borrowing, a longer-term loan of 30 years, for example, would spread the cost of the project over more of the lifetime of the building.