LINCOLN, Neb. — Residents in Lincoln are complaining that the design of several fire stations slated to be built over the next two years is just plain ugly.

Ground was broken Friday for the first station in a cornfield near Northwest 48th and Adams streets, the Lincoln Journal Star reported ( ). It will have a metal roof and metal, concrete and brick exterior.

The other new fire stations will feature a similar design and will be in growth areas at the edges of the city. The new stations are being funded by a quarter-cent city sales tax that began almost two years ago.

Homeowners near the Adams Street site have complained, saying the station needs to be more aesthetically pleasing to fit into the neighborhood.

“You don’t have to spend more money to have good designs,” said Gill Peace, a Lincoln architect and member of the Urban Design Committee. That committee has urged city leaders to create better-looking fire stations.

But Assistant Fire Chief Pat Borer said construction costs for the first station have doubled since plans were first made, from $150 per square foot to $300 per square foot. He said was forced to make cuts when the original building came in half a million dollars over budget.

“A lot of those exterior aesthetic pieces cost money,” Borer said.

The stations’ floor plans are focused on function, he said. The city also wants stations to last 50 to 75 years.

Borer said he’s willing to work with the design committee.

“We are looking forward to getting recommendations for features that will make the exterior better,” he said.

Information from: Lincoln Journal Star,

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