Thursday April 17, 2008
Mayor Jerry Abramson and Louisville Fire Chief Greg Frederick fired water cannons and sounded air horns today to celebrate the construction of a new, state-of-the-art fire station at 300 N. Spring St. Engine 21 is one of two fire houses to be built this year as part of Abramson’s 21st Century fire plan.
“We are making good on the promise to develop a 21st Century fire department for a 21st Century Louisville,” Abramson said. “A modern fire station for these neighborhoods will elevate the responsiveness and flexibility of our fire department, providing for enhanced fire protection for our citizens.”
Engine 21 will be located at Spring Street and Story Avenue. It will replace the existing station at Frankfort Avenue and Pope Street, which was built in 1891 and designed for a single, horse-drawn fire wagon.
The new station will be larger, with three vehicle bays to house Telesqurt 21, an EMS unit while on standby, and a bay to accommodate future expansion. The location will continue to serve the Clifton, Butchertown and Crescent Hill neighborhoods and enhance response to the developing areas along River Road and downtown’s eastern edge.
“This new station will have a tremendous impact on our fire response,” Frederick said. “The house offers vast improvements in apparatus space, living quarters and access – and that means the entire community will benefit.”
Neighbors served by this new fire station had significant input in choosing the location and adding suggestions for the design. Studio A architects incorporated elements from the surrounding neighborhood so Engine 21 would echo the area’s signature architectural character.
The fire station will serve two Metro Council districts, and both council representatives applauded the city’s efforts to involve residents in the planning process.
Metro Councilwoman Tina Ward-Pugh is pleased neighbors were able to voice their concerns about the station’s location and access around the nearby railroad tracks. “This is one of many projects the Clifton and Crescent Hill neighborhoods have kept an eye on,” said Ward-Pugh. “Their suggestions and support have ensured public safety as a priority for all of Metro Louisville. This beautiful new building shows what can be achieved when government and neighborhoods work together for the safety of every one.”
"Public safety is my top priority,” said Metro Councilman David Tandy. “Today, thanks to the collaborative efforts of Mayor Abramson and the dedicated residents of Butchertown, we begin construction on this new fire station that will bring much needed service to an area that is rapidly becoming more recognized as a gem in our community. This truly state of the art facility will be a welcome addition to the Fourth Metro Council District."
Engine 21 also includes several environmentally-friendly design features, including geothermal heating and cooling and energy-efficient LED lighting in the dormitories.
Louisville Metro Public Works project managers are exploring possible stormwater collection features for the property.
Construction will begin immediately and is scheduled to be completed in December, weather permitting. Firefighters expect to be fully operational from the new Engine 21 by the end of the year.
21st Century Fire Plan Adds Vehicles, Builds New Firehouses, Maintains Stations
Since the mayor announced the 21st Century Fire Plan nearly two years ago, the city has added $2 million worth of new fire trucks and equipment to modernize the firefighting fleet:
· Tower 2 – a new aerial unit with a 95-foot telescoping ladder housed at Floyd and Jefferson Street fire station; approximate cost $900,000
· Engine 10 – new pumper housed at Ashland Avenue fire station in Beechmont neighborhood; approximate costs $450,000
· Truck 8 – new ladder truck for Ashland Avenue station; approximate cost $650,00
Four new trucks will be ordered by July, including two new pumper trucks, a 100-foot aerial ladder truck and a rescue truck for the dive team. Ultimately, the city will replace more than half of the Fire Department’s 28-vehicle front-line fleet with new equipment.
A second new firehouse, Engine 6 in the Portland neighborhood, will begin construction next week. It is also scheduled to be fully operational by the end of the year. A third new firehouse, Engine 10 in the Beechmont neighborhood, will be constructed in 2009.
The mayor has continued to dedicate funds to refurbish existing fire stations. This year’s budget included $510,000 for fire station improvements. Over the past two years, the city has replaced roofs, added new windows, completed structural work, renovated dormitories, and added new heating and air-conditioning systems and vehicle bay ventilation systems.