COLUMBIA — The City Council voted unanimously Monday to authorize construction for a new fire station to be built on the northwest corner of Blue Ridge and North Providence roads.
The ordinance the Council passed approved plans for Fire Station No. 9, which is expected to meet certification standards for the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System, a nationally accepted benchmark for environmentally friendly design. The plans also allow for the inclusion of public art.
The City Council vote also opened the bidding process to local contractors who will execute the project, which is slated for completion by fall of 2009.
City Manager Bill Watkins said at the meeting that Fire Station No. 9 will cost almost $1. 9 million. Funding for the project comes from a 2005 capital improvements ballot issue approved by voters that raised sales tax .25 percent. The ballot measure also funded the current reconstruction of Fire Station No. 7 at the intersection of Green Meadow Circle and Bethel Street.
Columbia-based Peckham & Wright Architects Inc. provided architectural plans for the new fire station. Erik Miller, principal and project manager for Peckham & Wright, said the bidding process will likely take about a month, with a groundbreaking to come sometime in January 2009.
After the vote, Columbia Fire Chief Bill Markgraf said the new fire station will be strategically positioned to serve more than just the needs of northern Columbia. The new station will add to the existing fire coverage network currently serving all parts of the city, he said.
"This site will impact the maximum number of calls and improve response times," Markgraf said.