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New Fire Station progressing

December 19, 2018
By ED FRANKS ( , Pine Island Eagle

Matlacha/Pine Island Fire Control District Chief Ben Mickuleit and Deputy Chief Shawn Brant met recently with Vantage Construction Services president Trent Swartz for an update on the construction status of Matlacha Fire Station #4.

"It's only been about 8 or 9 weeks since the groundbreaking and I couldn't be happier with the progress on Station #4," Chief Mickuleit said. "This station has been a dream within this department since we purchased the property in 2008."

"In the last 30 days we've been able to complete all of the underground rough-in of the plumbing and electrical," Swartz said. "We had the pad poured last week and each time we pour a pad we have a third party testing agency come in to test the strength of the concrete after 7, 14 and 28 days."

Article Photos

Artists rendering of Matlacha Station #4.


The finished building will have four enclosed sleeping quarters, a community room, three bathrooms, two fire apparatus bays, a kitchen, storage room, exercise rooms and a contamination room.

The finished building will be approximately 6,142 square feet.

"We've used every square foot of this firehouse to maximum capacity," Mickuleit said. "One of the great features of this firehouse will be a community room. The community room will be used for classes and other community needs."

"Our next milestone is what we call dry-in," Swartz said. "We need to set the trusses, sheet the roof and then put the dry-in material on it so I can release all the interior framing, electrical, ductwork, etc. We should have the roof in place by mid-January."

The two truck bays are coming along at a slightly slower pace because the drainage system is being installed. This system will draw water away from the building.

The site plan calls for the widening of Pompano Avenue and Scallop Drive to Lee County standards and both streets will be paved.

"This station was designed so the trucks could pass through the building," Mickuleit said. "No more backing into the bays. Trucks will enter on the Scallop Drive side of the building and exit onto Pompano Avenue. There will be an emergency light placed at Pompano and Pine Island Road to let drivers know when the trucks are leaving."

As part of the construction contract, the commissioners had a deadline date set at May 13, 2019.

"Once the construction is complete, we can the get the appliances and furniture installed," Mickuleit said. "I would estimate that Station #4 will be up and running in the summer."

The Matlacha station property was purchased in 2008 and the station was scheduled to be built the following year. When the economy crashed, the project was put on hold.

The station was designed to match the character and architecture of the fishermen shacks in Matlacha. The new station will house one engine and one brush truck as well as two firefighter EMTs 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

"I'm excited about this new fire house," Mickuleit said. "The reason we purchased the property in 2008 was to provide equal response time anywhere in our fire district which extends to Cape Royal. This firehouse will be minutes from both Matlacha and Cape Royal and will allow for much better response times."



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