City to break ground on new fire department Friday

Rendering of Opelika's new downtown Fire Station

From staff reports

The City of Opelika will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Fire Station No. 1 headquarters Jan. 27 at 3 p.m. The new state-of-the-art fire station will be at the corner of Avenue B and Seventh Street, adjacent to City Hall.

The new 13,000 sq. ft. building will have four large bays for emergency vehicles and include a slide from the second floor to the first floor. Opelika Fire Chief Byron Prather said the new headquarters has been in the planning stages for several years and a lot of planning and preparation went into the construction of the new building. The Opelika City Council made the final approval for the new headquarters Jan. 3 and construction is slated to begin next month with an expected completion date of December 2017. Construction is estimated to cost the city $2.9 million and was a budgeted item.

The previous headquarters was built in the 1960s, and time has taken its toll on the heavily used building. The new building will be an improvement and more centrally located. Prather said 15-20 employees will be in the building at any given time once construction is completed.

According to Prather, the city has not made a decision on what will become of the existing building on Avenue B.



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