Lexington officials on Wednesday broke ground for the city’s first new fire station since 2005.
The new Fire Station 2 at 1276 Eastland Drive, behind Eastland Shopping Center, will replace the old Fire Station 2 at 415 East New Circle Road, built in 1953. The new station is projected to cost about $5.5 million, and it is designed with LED lighting and geothermal heat. It is slated for completion by summer 2017.
City officials said that the old fire station is overcrowded; that the move will help avoid overlap of service from other stations; and that response time for Liberty Road-area residents will improve. The moving of the station was in response to a population shift in the area.
Mayor Jim Gray said the original station was built to house county fire and police departments and included jail cells.
“Firefighters were sleeping in those cells — when they get to sleep,” Gray said.
Interim Fire Chief Harold Hoskins said the building is designed to last 100 years and will better accommodate male and female firefighters in ways that the builders of old stations never considered. Hoskins said there would be improvements from the old station, including a workout room and wider dormitory space.
“Guys at Station 2 ... we didn’t put your cooking stove in your living room, sorry,” he said. “I know you’ve been used to that over the last 10 years or so.”