LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) – Ground was broken Wednesday on improvements to an East Texas fire station that has been in need of renovation for years.
Longview’s fire station 5 is the site of new construction made possible by a 2018 bond election.
“This particular building was built back in 1985; it was woefully inadequate for Longview west-side today,” said Longview city councilman Ed Moore.
Station 5 will expand to twice its current size.
“It’s had some renovations over the years, but what’s happening here is what’s held here. It’ll be a little more than double its size, maybe triple its size. And better living accommodations for the firefighters,” says City of Longview public information officer Shawn Hara.
Expansion has long been on the fire department’s radar because of inadequate space and other problems they ran into over the years.In 2016 the facility was shut down because of the discovery of mold at the station. Firefighters were temporarily housed in portable units.
The bays became too small for bigger fire units.
“The apparatus sizes, and the weight and the lengths and the widths, and all that. We’ve just basically outgrown that building,” said Longview Fire Chief J.P. Steelman.
But the $5.3 million expansion will become a centerpiece for an oft-needed emergency service.
“Our water rescue element. That’s been a dynamic for the last 10 or 15 years that we’ve seen more activity, not only here but regionally. This will enable us to put our crews and equipment in one facility,” Steelman said.
The city says completion of the project is expected by fall of 2021.
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