By Paul Sims
City officials hope to open Starkvilleâ€™s newest â€“ and fifth â€“ fire station by late spring, Fire Chief Rodger Mann said last week.
On Tuesday, the Board of Aldermen accepted the fire station â€“ located just a few hundred yards west of the Highway 25 bypass on Reed Road â€“Â as substantially complete.
â€śThat basically means the city has control of the building,â€ť Mann said, adding it allows city officials to access the building to install functional equipment a fire station needs to be operational. Theyâ€™ll be putting in place such items as hose racks, radio equipment and appliances to the building.
When the station is fully operational, there will be four firefighters at the station along with a reserve truck. The station will cover northwest Starkville, Mann said.
An $887,000 American Reinvestment and Recovery Act grant paid for the project. The building is approximately 5,000 square feet.
The new building has five bedrooms â€“ meaning itâ€™s set up to run two engine companies in the future, he said.
The structure also features a concrete severe weather safe room â€“ accessed by a metal door â€“ where firefighters can shelter in place during heavy storms. â€śIt puts them in a better place to helpâ€ť the public, Mann said.
The new station includes a propane-fueled generator, as well as a fire alarm, sprinklers and lightning arrestors. These devices are a measure to minimize the impact of a lightning strike on the building, Mann said.
The building is fully compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act standards and meets all city codes and ordinances, the fire chief said. Officials are applying for LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, certification on the project.
H.W. Webb Jr. was the consulting engineer, Chris Cosper was the LEED consultant, MD Engineering handled electrical and mechanical engineering matters and Weathers Construction served as the general contractor.
The city acquired the property with assistance from the Harold Josey family, Mann said.