City to begin construction on new fire stations

The City of Biloxi should begin construction on new fire stations in Woolmarket and east Biloxi shortly after the first of the year, Mayor A.J. Holloway announced Tuesday after members of the City Council voted to hire two local contractors for the work.

KEL Construction Co. of Saucier will construct the Woolmarket station for $950,382, and Starks Construction Co. of Biloxi, which bid $948,500, will build the new station on Howard Avenue, immediately west of the aging Kurt Jacquet station.

“We had hoped to begin construction on these two stations a month ago,” Holloway said, “but the company that was originally hired to build both had to pull out of the project. That meant that we had to go through the process again – advertising for bids and so forth. This means that we should be in these two new stations by Christmas of next year instead of by Thanksgiving.”

Fire Chief David Roberts said this will mark the first time since the 1930s that the city has had two stations under construction simultaneously.

The Woolmarket station will be situated on a site the city purchased off Oaklawn Drive, south of the I-10 exit at Woolmarket. The Point Cadet station will be positioned on former Biloxi Housing Authority property immediately west of the current station.

The 6,882-square foot stations, which were designed by architect Mark Williams of Williams and Associates, PA of Biloxi, will be similar in appearance. They are designed to withstand 155 mph winds, sleep up to eight firefighters, and will feature two drive-through engine bays. The stations also will have state-of-the-art electronic communications systems and have uninterrupted power supply systems capable of fully powering each station in the event of an emergency.