City Breaks Ground on Voter-Approved Fire Station No. 1 in Downtown Arlington
By Susan Schrock, Office of Communication
Posted on March 09, 2022, March 09, 2022

The City of Arlington broke ground Wednesday on a more modern, more efficient Fire Station No. 1 in Downtown Arlington.

The two-story, 17,667-square-foot station will replace the previous Fire Station No. 1, which originally opened in 1954 and had gone through various remodels over the decades. The future facility, set to open next year, is designed to provide a better work and living space for Arlington’s firefighters. Arlington voters approved funding to rebuild Fire Station No. 1, which was the City’s oldest fire station, as part of the 2014 Bond Program.

 City Council representatives, City leadership, Downtown Arlington representatives, and other city and community members gathered at the site of the former Downtown fire station Wednesday afternoon to celebrate the start of construction.

 “A fire station is a physical reminder to our fellow citizens that there are people inside on watch all the time. That someone will show up. That they will protect us at our most perilous time. A fire station represents stability, honor, service and all the best civic virtues,” said City Council Representative Rebecca Boxall, whose District 5 includes Downtown. “That’s why historically fire stations are found in the prominent locations in our cities, in places of civic pride, on the main street. Such is the case with Fire Station No 1. May it be a beacon for all decades to come.”

 The future facility, set to open next year, is designed to provide a better work and living space for Arlington’s firefighters. Features will include five larger, drive-thru apparatus bays that can hold more equipment, training areas and indoor and outdoor kennels for the Fire Department’s K9 Unit, a full kitchen and a dining room, and various offices. Click here to see a video of the future station. 

 The station will also include a public space for community events and meetings as well as a museum area where residents can learn about the Arlington Fire Department’s history and accomplishments and see historical items up close, such as an antique fire truck.

 “Ever since there was a city, there was a fire department. Our genesis started really back in 1880s. The first fire chief was in 1900, the first real fire engine shows up around in 1920, and a fully paid fire department started in 1948. And we’ve only grown from there,” said Crowson, who worked at the station as a fire fighter from 1984 to 1986. “We are a city of 400,000 people now, a metropolitan urban community. The Downtown fire station is going to be our flagship station. A point of interest for citizens to visit and come see Arlington’s history.”

 Living quarters for the station’s three shift crews, who each spend 24 hours working from the Downtown station, will also be an improvement. Firefighters on shift will no longer have to share an open dormitory space. The second story of the new station will offer 12 private dorm rooms and separate men’s and women’s bathrooms with showers.

 The new station’s design also includes several energy-saving features, including Low-E windows with a solar ban coating, a mechanical system with variable refrigerant volume, low-flow plumbing fixtures, and native landscaping that requires minimal irrigation systems.

 “It’s fitting to have a type of station that fits with the quality of our fire fighters, to better serve our community in the Downtown area,” said Arlington Mayor Jim Ross. “This is really going to be something to be proud of for the Fire Department and the city as a whole.”

 Fire Department response times are not expected to be affected during construction of the new station. Fire Station No. 1 crews are temporarily working from nearby fire stations.

 In 2021, the Arlington adopted a Minority Woman Business Enterprise Program and established an Office of Business Diversity as part of the City’s efforts to increase participation with minority and woman-owned companies as suppliers, prime vendors and subcontractors. The selected contractor for the fire station construction, Steele & Freeman, has agreed to a more than 30% goal for minority and woman business enterprise participation in the project. The City Council approved a construction contract for up to $9.2 million with the contractor, which has built two other fire stations within the city.

 Want to learn more about the projects approved by Arlington voters in the City’s bond elections? Check out the Bond Tracker webpage for maps, project timelines, articles, and more.

Future Fire Station No. 1 is set to open in 2023.

Champion Great Neighborhoods, Bond Program, MyArlingtonTV, 2014 Bond Project Tracker, City Council District 5
News, Government, Public Safety, Fire, Headlines