ARLINGTON -- This weekend, the public will get a chance to see a new $3.47 million fire station in south Arlington that officials say is not only greener but also better located to respond to fires, traffic collisions and other emergencies.
Fire Station No. 9, at 909 Wimbledon Drive, is a 12,000-square-foot building that replaces the 30-year-old fire station on South Cooper Street near the Harold Patterson Sports Center. Assistant Fire Chief Brian Riley said having the station on busy Cooper Street sometimes meant delays in responding to emergency calls, especially during weekends and soccer season.
"There would be times we would sit a minute or more on the apron waiting for traffic to clear on Cooper Street," Riley said. "That was getting worse as the population gets larger and larger."
The new building has environmentally friendly and energy-efficient features and is expected to be the city's first public safety building to gain Silver LEED certification, Riley said. Residents are invited to tour the station from 9:30 a.m. to noon Saturday.
The original station was just over 5,000 square feet and was built before the Fire Department began handling medical calls, Riley said. The garage bays were a tight squeeze for the larger fire vehicles, medical equipment and fitness equipment, he said.
"Our station was just too small to be able to function," he said.
New features include individual sleeping quarters for the coed firefighters, a fitness room, larger garage bays, office areas and a community service room where firefighters can check blood pressure or provide medical assistance to residents who walk in off the street. Firefighters were treating walk-in patients in their kitchen area, Riley said.
The station will also feature a public telephone and restroom.
Voters approved funding for the station in 2008, and the city broke ground last August. The land that held the former fire station will be sold.
Susan Schrock, 817-390-7639