One story fire station building with three large garage doors all closed and big tree in front
Sunnyvale has plans to renovate five of its six fire stations, with Fire Station 2 most in need of repairs. The facility houses the city's fire training academy. Photo by B. Sakura Cannestra.

Sunnyvale plans to renovate the majority of its fire stations, starting with the one that trains future firefighters.

The Sunnyvale City Council on Tuesday is slated to award a more than $2 million contract to PBK Architects to begin the process of rebuilding Fire Station 2. The city is expected to allocate about $40 million to rebuild Fire Station 2, which has some building code violations and other inefficiencies in the design from additions built over the years.

Fire Station 2 is located at the intersection of Wolfe Road and Arques Avenue and houses the city’s fire academy, which trains firefighters locally and across the county, said Chief Phan Ngo, who heads the city’s department of public safety. Sunnyvale has an integrated department, which means every officer is trained as a police officer, firefighter and emergency medical technician.

“When we have a modernized, robust fire station—the new Fire Station 2—it’s going to really enhance the services that we’re able to provide our residents here in Sunnyvale, but (also) the skills that we provide to our public safety officers,” Ngo told San José Spotlight. “When we train our officers at the training center, it will benefit a lot of other communities across the state.”

The station holds two, 17-week fire academies annually, sometimes with dozens of recruits from fire departments countywide.

Ngo said growing fires threats, especially wildfires, make renovating the city’s fire stations a priority. He added that occasionally, Sunnyvale’s public safety officers are deployed to large-scale wildfires, which during the past few years experienced record breaking seasons.

“(Renovating Firehouse 2) is a huge benefit to Sunnyvale and it’s a huge benefit for California,” Ngo said.

Plans to renovate the city’s firehouses have been in the works for years. In 2021, the city hired two companies—Kitchell and Shah Kawasaki Architects—to assess conditions of the city’s six fire stations. The assessment found nearly all of the stations, constructed in the 1960s, were outdated. The only exception is Fire Station 5, built in 2016.

City spokesperson Jennifer Garnett told San José Spotlight the Fire Station 2 project is in its infancy and construction isn’t planned to start until 2026, as finalizing the design and obtaining the permits may take several years.

The station is expected to be about 20,500 square feet and meet LEED gold environmental standards. The renovated station will be all-electric and have solar panels.

It’s unclear whether training at the fire academy will be suspended or relocated during the construction, but a temporary Station 2 will be erected in the back lot to maintain fire coverage of the area.

In addition to the fire stations, the city plans to renovate its civic center, having finished construction on a new city hall earlier this year and is working on updates to its parks.

Contact B. Sakura Cannestra at [email protected] or @SakuCannestra on X, formerly known as Twitter.

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