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New Starkville fire station to open this spring

 

Starkville Fire Department Chief Rodger Mann checks to see how a steel cutout, produced by Gulf States Manufacturers, will look against the brick wall Wednesday at newly constructed Fire Station No. 5.

Starkville Fire Department Chief Rodger Mann checks to see how a steel cutout, produced by Gulf States Manufacturers, will look against the brick wall Wednesday at newly constructed Fire Station No. 5. Photo by: Tim Pratt

 

Starkville Fire Station No. 5, seen here on Reed Road, just west of Highway 25, is nearly complete. Landscaping is set to begin in the coming weeks, along with the construction of a new sidewalk along a short stretch of driveway in front of the structure. A phone line also must be connected. Chief Rodger Mann anticipates a late-spring opening.

Starkville Fire Station No. 5, seen here on Reed Road, just west of Highway 25, is nearly complete. Landscaping is set to begin in the coming weeks, along with the construction of a new sidewalk along a short stretch of driveway in front of the structure. A phone line also must be connected. Chief Rodger Mann anticipates a late-spring opening.
Photo by: Tim Pratt

 

 

Tim Pratt

 

 

Just west of Highway 25, newly constructed Fire Station No. 5 towers above Reed Road and the nearby farmland.  

 

From the outside, the 5,000-square-foot structure appears complete. Fresh concrete driveways and sidewalks gleam in the sun, windows and doors line the walls of the two-story building and construction crews have long since left the site.  

 

Landscaping work is poised to begin, but it will be another few months before firefighters man the station, Starkville Fire Department Chief Rodger Mann said Wednesday as he walked through the facility.  

 

"We''re shooting for late spring," he said.  

 

Flowers will be planted in front of the building and along a new sidewalk planned next to the driveway. A custom steel SFD cutout, along with letters identifying the building as Fire Station No. 5, will be mounted on the front wall. The SFD also is working to get a phone line installed.  

 

The city received more than $887,000 through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to build the new fire station. The building features a garage, four bedrooms, a concrete "safe room" to protect personnel from inclement weather, a kitchen, lounge area, bathrooms and storage space. The storage space is much needed, Mann said. 

 

"It''s built to meet today''s needs and the needs that will arise 15 years from now," he said. 

 

The building also will meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, certification standards for energy efficiency. Among the structure''s features, lights are triggered by motion sensors. The lights are then shut off by a timer so they don''t waste electricity in empty rooms and halls.  

 

"This really will be a state-of-the-art facility," Mann said.  

 

When the station goes online, its firefighters will provide protection for areas of Starkville which fall outside the coverage areas of the four existing fire stations. An area of the city along old Highway 82 falls outside the coverage radius of Fire Station No. 2, located on Airport Road. Additionally, the Cedar Creek Lane area falls well outside the coverage radius of Fire Station No. 3, located at Garrard Road and North Jackson Street.  

 

With fewer deficiencies in coverage areas, the city could experience lower fire insurance rates, Mann said.  

 

Mann in coming weeks plans to ask the city''s Board of Aldermen to hire four new firefighters -- the board already budgeted for the positions -- who would be "grouped in" with the Starkville Fire Department''s existing personnel. The new firefighters are necessary for the SFD to fully staff the new station, Mann said. The Fire Department already has a pumper truck it can assign to Station No. 5, Mann said.  

 

The SFD will have little wiggle room, however, Mann said. If even one firefighter in the SFD has to take a leave of absence for medical issues, military obligations or other reasons, the city won''t have enough firefighters to fully man Fire Station No. 5 and it will close until the vacancy is filled, Mann said.  

 

While the SFD received more than $887,000 for the new fire station, it also received an approximately $282,000 grant for construction of a new training facility behind Fire Station No. 3. The city will have to contribute nearly $31,400 for the facility, which will be located at the rear of the property, near existing training obstacles.  

 

The facility will allow firefighters to experience live fire training under controlled conditions.

 

 

 

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