South Whidbey Fire/EMS board of commissioners recently selected Valdez Construction of Oak Harbor to build its new fire station in Bayview. The company will serve as the general contractor. Their bid of $5.7 million came just under the estimated project cost of $5.8 million.

Recent projects on Whidbey Island by Valdez Construction include a number of school constructions, upgrades and renovations at NAS Whidbey, and remodeling of the Star Store in Langley, as well as a new fire station for North Whidbey Fire & Rescue.

Carletti Architects from Mount Vernon, WA was selected to serve as the design firm in 2010 and has been working on the project since then.

“The long-awaited project has been in the works for nearly 10 years and we’re excited to work with local businesses,” said H.L “Rusty” Palmer. ” We’re looking forward to breaking ground in the next month.”

All of the funds needed for the building were secured through bonds sold last year, including the additional 10% contingency funds and $500,000 anticipated sales tax. The new station replaces an aging facility, relocates the department’s administrative offices from Freeland, and eventually creates a new training center.

The old Bayview station will be converted into a maintenance facility and the Freeland station converted back to sleeping quarters. Although the department provides coverage 24 hours a day, reestablishment of sleeping quarters makes overnight coverage by out of district members more accessible.

The Bayview neighborhood can expect to see increased activity during construction, which is estimated to take about one year. The new location is currently a grassy field next to Good Cheer. The new station is centrally located within the district boundaries and will contribute to improved response time for first responders to emergency calls.