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Willmeng Marks Start of New Municipal Complex for City of Surprise

Rendering courtesy of LEA Architects
Rendering courtesy of LEA Architects
Rendering courtesy of LEA Architects
Rendering courtesy of LEA Architects
Photo courtesy of Willmeng
Photo courtesy of Willmeng
SURPRISE, AZ — Willmeng and the City of Surprise kicked off work on a multi-faceted municipal project that will include a new fire station (Fire Station 309), as well as an aquatic center and park. City of Surprise elected officials, city staff, and executives from the design and construction team were on hand for a groundbreaking event.

The project is located on 19 acres in the fast-growing southwest portion of the City of Surprise. The fire station, aquatic center, and park will be situated on the same site and will be constructed simultaneously. They will open in summer 2025.

“The dirt and shrubs you see on this expansive property will soon be transformed into space that serves both the community's recreation and safety needs,” City of Surprise Mayor Skip Hall said. “Surprise has always taken great pride in providing recreational opportunities to our community. In recent years, this area of the city has seen a lot of growth, and City Council saw an opportunity to serve the community with amenities that will provide a better quality of life.”

Willmeng is the general contractor on the new complex, with LEA Architects serving as the lead design firm on Fire Station 309. Architekton is leading design on the aquatic center and park. Dig Studio is the landscape architect, and Dibble is responsible for the onsite civil work, as well as offsite improvements, including roadway enhancements to the intersection of Cactus Road and Perryville Road, and infrastructure work.

“It’s an honor to build these facilities and to work with the City of Surprise,” Willmeng CEO James Murphy said. “It takes courage, commitment, and council support, and we see that from city leaders with this project. We have no doubt that this facility will be another landmark in the greater Phoenix Metro area and continue to elevate the City of Surprise.”

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Fire Station 309 will be a public safety facility complete with: four apparatus bays, decontamination room, Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus room, turn-out gear locker room, two EMS rooms, 10 dorms, fitness room, full kitchen with pantry, workshop, community room, day room, workstation area, office space, conference room, exam room, laundry, dining room with patios, janitor room, restrooms, storage, public lobby, and mechanical and fire riser rooms.

“This station will not only provide the resources to keep the community and our first responders safe, but it is also going to house a command training center,” said Surprise Fire-Medical Chief Brenden Espie. “This type of training is not currently available in our department, so we have to travel out to Phoenix or Glendale. There’s no doubt in my mind that our team is going to be better prepared for any real-world call due to the training they’ll receive in this building.”

The fire station will also house a small police substation with a lobby waiting area, ADA public restroom, staff restroom, two private offices, and a patrol officer area with four to five cubicles. The police substation will have a separate entrance and separate secured officer parking.

This project is the latest in which Willmeng has partnered with the City of Surprise. Most recently, Willmeng completed Fire Station 308 and The Fields at Countryside, a 12-acre facility with multipurpose athletic fields and a playground.

The aquatic center is the third public pool for the city. It will include three separate bodies of water: a recreational pool, a diving/warmup pool, and a competitive pool. The recreational pool includes water features and a variety of slides suitable for all ages. The competition pool is an eight-lane, 50-meter pool that can also be utilized as a 23-lane, 25-yard pool with shaded stadium seating for spectators, parking, restrooms, locker rooms, concessions area, a training room, and office. The diving pool/warmup pool will have two one-meter springboards and six 25-yard lanes.

“District 3 is probably growing the fastest of any of the districts in the city,” said City of Surprise District 3 Councilmember Patrick Duffy. “We have to keep up with recreation and public safety, and that’s exactly what’s happening here. We will be able to host large swimming invitationals, and our high schools and swimming clubs will have more practice opportunities.”

Adjacent to the aquatic center, a new city park will include a playground, basketball court, splash pad, and ramadas throughout.

The aquatic center, park, and fire station project will also include site development, landscape, civil improvements, site lighting, and utility services. Construction of the offsites include, but are not limited to, water, sewer, and road improvements that will extend Perryville Road north of Cactus Road and buildout the intersection of Cactus and Perryville roads, including installation of a new traffic signal.

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