The City of Cleveland is planning to use municipal bond money to build a new fire station on a parcel donated to the City by McKinley Development, developer of the Grand Oaks Subdivision. Fire Station 2, as it will be known, will be located behind the Parkway convenience store that faces the SH 105 Bypass and SH 321 (Houston St.)
The two-story, three-apparatus bay building will have a brick veneer about a third of the way up the building and finished with a board-and-batten siding. The entryway roof will have exposed timbers that will be similar to the design of Cleveland Civic Center and Cleveland City Hall.
Council has yet to approve the final design but City Manager Bobby Pennington believes the architect, BRW, has created a plan that now includes all of the suggestions councilmembers made at a meeting last year.
“It’s going to be a beautiful building. We want to showcase our fire station. The bays will face Grand Oaks Boulevard and the building is designed to complement the Grand Oaks community,” Pennington said.
The cost of the new fire station will be around $4.3 million, a significant drop from the original estimate of $5 million. Pennington said the City negotiated down the price in order to save Cleveland taxpayers money. The fire station will be funded by a bond that also includes funding for street repairs, and upgrades to water and sewer systems.
The City has not yet picked a contractor for the fire station but Pennington hopes to see soil turned on the project later this year.
The new fire station should help with response times on the east side of the city. Currently, to serve all of the city, the fire department has only Fire Station 1, located at 205 E. Boothe Street. Even after the new fire station is built, Fire Station 1 will remain as the primary headquarters for the fire department.
In the near future, as the city continues to grow, Pennington envisions a need for a third fire station on the west side of the city.
“We own the engineering and the actual architecture of Fire Station 2. We plan, as growth progresses on the west side of town, to recreate that fire station, probably close to the other side of the 105 bypass,” he said.
Cleveland Fire Department has relied heavily on volunteers for many years, but that is slowly evolving to include more paid positions. The fire department has one chief – Sean Anderson, an assistant fire chief – Roger Brookes, three captains (full-time and part-time), 11 firefighter/paramedics (part-time and volunteers), three firefighter/advanced EMTs (part-time and volunteers), six firefighters/EMTs (part-time and volunteer) and 16 volunteer firefighters.
In recent months, the City hired additional firefighters through the SAFER grant, funded by the Department of Homeland Security’s Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program.
“The grant was one of those opportunities we couldn’t pass up. It pays for these additional firefighters for two years and then staggers off. I have a plan, even if things go stagnant, to continue these positions,” Pennington said.