A conceptual drawing by Jeff Katz Architecture shows what the proposed Butterfield Fire Station will look like.

Morgan Hill officials recently approved conceptual designs for a new fire station on Butterfield Boulevard—a project they think will be completed by summer of 2024. 

The city council at the Nov. 2 meeting voted 5-0 to approve the conceptual design for the Butterfield Fire Station project, which will be located at 17285 Butterfield Blvd.—next to the South County courthouse complex. 

The $7.5-million project will finally bring Morgan Hill its third fire station, which has for several years been a component of City Hall’s long-term public safety and capital improvement plans. The city acquired the 1.8-acre site for the new station in the aftermath of the dissolution of the Redevelopment Agency in 2012. The property is the former site of the Community Garden; and it is adjacent to the VTA’s Butterfield Station and the South Santa Clara County Probation office. 

In December 2021, the council approved a $893,200 contract with Jeff Katz Architecture (now known as COAR Design Group) to design the proposed Butterfield fire station. Those designs were presented and approved by the council at the Nov. 2 meeting. 

The station will be about 5,800 square feet with a two-vehicle fire engine/apparatus bay, plus equipment cleaning areas; a fitness room; three bunk rooms; a combined kitchen and dayroom; and two restrooms with showers. The plans also include drought-friendly landscaping. 

Initial designs included a solar power system and on-site electrical “microgrid” for energy efficiency and sustainability, but city staff said these components did not fit into the project’s $7.5-million budget. The city will continue to search for funding—through grants, for example—for the solar energy and microgrid add-ons, but these features will not be included in the construction bid for the Butterfield fire station. 

City Councilmember John McKay said the project looks “very nice” despite the design’s budgetary constraints. 

“I’m very happy this looks as good as it does because I know you designed it on a budget. It’s not overly handsome but I think it’s very nice and it’s going to look really well in that area,” McKay said Nov. 2 before making a motion to approve the design. 

In response to a question from Councilmember Rene Spring, Morgan Hill Fire Chief George Huang said the design submitted by Katz “meets the intent of the firefighters for response.”

Katz said the design of the new fire station is about halfway complete, and is expected to be finished by early next year. 

City officials will put the project out to bid for contractors in Spring of 2023, according to city staff. Construction is expected to begin in Summer of 2023, and finish about a year later. 

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Michael Moore is an award-winning journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor for the Morgan Hill Times, Hollister Free Lance and Gilroy Dispatch since 2008. During that time, he has covered crime, breaking news, local government, education, entertainment and more.


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