You don't hear a whole lot about public projects in a down economy. Then again, you don't hear much about construction -- period.

But in St. Louis Park, Kraus-Anderson Construction Co. recent completed construction of two fire stations for the inner-ring suburb's fire department.

The year-long, $15 million project replaces two aging fire stations that were built in the 1960s.

The older buildings didn't meet modern accessibility rules for public buildings or accommodate multi-gender Fire Department staffing, according to Minneapolis-based Kraus-Anderson. In addition, structural elements, mechanical systems and the overall lack of space contributed to the decision by St. Louis Park officials to build new.

The new Fire Station No.1, located at 3750 Wooddale Ave., spans about 30,700 square feet, and includes administration offices, training and fitness rooms, a kitchen, a fitness center and locker room, hose tower, sleeping quarters and eight apparatus bays.

The smaller 16,760-square-foot Station No. 2, located at 2262 Louisiana Ave. S. also has administration offices, fitness and locker rooms, kitchen sleeping quarters and apparatus bays.

Both fire stations incorporate energy efficient elements and environmentally sound design.

"These are beautiful, state-of-the-art buildings that we hope this entire community take pride in an enjoys for decades to come," said the city's fire chief, Luke Stemmer, in a statement.

The Fire Department employs about 24 full-time, including firefighters, administrators and staff. It also employs about 30 paid on-call firefighters.

Janet Moore covers commercial real estate for the Star Tribune.


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