PBC Awards Contract for First New Fire Station

Terry Levin, (312) 744-9277

A $6.87 million contract was awarded Tuesday by the Public Building Commission [PBC] to an African-American-owned construction firm in Chicago to build the city’s first new fire station of the 21st century.

UBM Inc., 223 W. Jackson Blvd., had the lowest bid of nine companies vying for the contract to build the new Engine Co. 63 station on the north side of 67th Street between Dorchester and Blackstone, according to Mayor Richard M. Daley, who also chairs the PBC.

The new firehouse will replace Engine Co. 63’s current quarters on the 1400 block of East 62nd Place.

“Engine Co. 63 now is housed in a building more than 70 years old that was designed when emergency vehicles were much smaller and less sophisticated,” Daley said in announcing the contract. “This new station has been designed to meet the needs of this century.”

The first of at least eight new fire stations to be built citywide, the new firehouse will feature a modern command center and the latest in emergency communications; oversized garage doors; and a circular driveway to make it faster and safer for emergency vehicles to leave and re-enter the building.

It also will feature separate living accommodations for male and female emergency personnel-a need undreamed of back in the 1930s.

Funding for all the new fire stations is being provided through Daley’s Neighborhoods Alive 21 program, which also is replacing outdated police stations and building new branch libraries throughout the city.

In its successful bid for the contract, UBM pledged that at least half of the journeyman, apprentice and laborers work on the site would be performed by minorities and that at least 10% of that work would be performed by women, according to PBC executive director Eileen Carey.

Construction on the new Engine Co. 63 will begin this spring and take about one year to complete, Carey said.