With as many as 40,000 new residents expected in the next two decades, College Station has a clear need to provide reliable fire and Emergency Medical Services protection to our growing community, and fulfilling that mission requires proactive planning and action. When it opens in late 2012, Fire Station No. 6 will provide responsible service and have a positive impact on citizens in north College Station for the next 50 years and beyond.
The need to provide reliable fire protection in that area, especially the University Drive corridor, was first identified in the mid-1990s. When the decision was made that Fire Station No. 1 would be relocated to Holleman Drive to improve response times to areas east of Rudder Freeway, it also was recommended that, as development occurred along University Drive East, another fire station would be needed in north College Station. Keep in mind that much of the development east of Tarrow Street along University Drive didn’t even exist in 1995.
The new fire station was identified for the 2008 Capital Improvement Project Bond election during facilities planning sessions in early 2004. The station’s primary mission will be to provide improved coverage and response times to the University Drive corridor, the Northgate area and portions of the Texas A&M campus.
Determining the exact location for Fire Station No. 6 was somewhat of a challenge since vacant properties in that area of town have been rare for some time. Seven sites were identified and evaluated by the Fire Department, city staff and the city council. Each of the acceptable locations was valued from $1.5 to $2.5 million. In 2007, the decision was made to use the ideal property located at University Drive East and Tarrow Street. The city already owned the property, which was valued at $1.2 million.
With a total construction budget of almost $7 million, the two-story station will be large by necessity. This particular fire station is designed to be more than a neighborhood fire station. It’s being built as an urban, full-service station that ultimately will house three companies; an engine, ambulance and ladder. It also will house Hazmat response equipment and a community room.
Our plan is to open the facility with 18 employees to serve an ambulance and fire engine, with personnel eventually increasing to 39. That number will include a battalion chief, safety officer/ emergency medical services supervisor and the ladder company. Groundbreaking ceremonies are planned for late September 2011.
If you have any questions, we encourage you to register on this blog and submit your comments. We look forward to hearing from you!
CSFD Public Information Officer