Thursday, July 26, 2012

New station to bring CFD Engine 35 'into the current age'

Ground was broken this morning for a new Fire Station No. 35 in Westwood, a state-of-the-art, 18,000-square-foot facility that will replace the cramped, 105-year-old station on Junietta Avenue.

The new building will be constructed on the site of a former dilapidated apartment building at 2487 Harrison Avenue, which was demolished in December 2008.

When completed, the station will give the company more than twice as much space and will allow it to add a new medical unit and supervisor. And unlike the current station, it will include facilities for women, whose numbers in the Cincinnati Fire Department (CFD) continue to increase.

"This building brings us into the current age," said Cincinnati Fire Chief Richard Braun.

Fire Station No. 35 will be the third in a wave of new fire stations built in the City over the past five years, joining Fire Station No. 51 in College Hill (2009) and Fire Station No. 9 in Paddock Hills (2008).

Mayor Mark Mallory said that the new stations show that Cincinnati's number one priority is public safety.

"And part of this is making sure that the folks who provide that service to us have the tools, the equipment, and the facilities that they need to do the job," he said.

City Manager Milton Dohoney agreed, adding that the Office of U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D) has just announced a $5.9 million SAFER grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to fund two years of salary and benefits for 40 CFD recruits, helping the City maintain current staffing levels.

"This signifies that people outside of Cincinnati are recognizing the hard work that these individuals do every day," he said.

Fire Station No. 35 will be built to LEED Silver standards. MSA Architects is the project architect, and DER Development will serve as the general contractor.

"New public buildings can serve as a catalyst within communities," Mallory said. "This one will be no different. The Westwood community is strong, and it will remain strong."

"We hope the same [catalytic effect] will happen here," said Westwood Civic Association President Joel Kimmet. "This is really a great start to improving our neighborhood."

Engine Company 35 was established at the Westwood Town Hall in 1896 – the year of Westwood's annexation into the City of Cincinnati – and moved to Junietta Avenue 11 years later.

Previous reading on BC:
Two College Hill properties up for auction (8/12/10)
Groundbreaking signals expanded tribute for fallen firefighters (6/30/10)
College Hill's new green fire station a 'significant investment' (11/17/09)
Cincinnati to purchase Price Hill home for fire expansion (5/30/08)
Inside Cincinnati Fire Station No. 9 (4/1/08)