A rendering of the proposed design of the new Bath fire station. Courtesy of the City of Bath

The Bath City Council has hired a project management firm to oversee the construction of the city’s next fire station.

The council last week unanimously agreed to pay Colliers, an international real estate company based in Canada, up to $577,485 for its services.

The new fire station will be built at the site of the former Morse High School on High Street and is expected to cost $16.5 million. Voters approved borrowing up to $13 million to help pay for the project, and Sen. Susan Collins secured $1.75 million in federal funding. The remainder of the cost will be paid for with city tax increment financing funds.

City Manager Marc Meyers said the city doesn’t have the staff to oversee the project and Colliers will help “avoid … the pitfalls of a big project like this.”

“Ultimately, we want to be able to get this right,” he said.

Colliers has overseen thousands of construction projects, including new fire stations in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. The company has an office in Biddeford and is serving as project manager for Maine Medical Center’s expansion in Portland.

“They are a renowned company,” fire Chief Lawrence Renaud told the council. “They have plenty of depth and experience and a track record to support their ability to do this project and do it well.”

The current fire station on High Street, which opened in 1958, was targeted for replacement in 2020 based on the recommendation of Harriman, a Northeast-based architectural firm hired by the city to examine the structure. The firm cited several concerns with the station, including poor air quality, the lack of a sprinkler system, diesel exhaust contamination, inadequate garage bays and doorways, and stacking of emergency vehicles.

Colliers’ first task will be to help solicit bids for companies to design and build the new station, according to Meyers.

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