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LFD Station 3 becoming a reality

LENOIR, NC (April 4, 2019) — Work continues on the City’s new Fire Station 3 located at 1015 Wilkesboro Boulevard.

Brushy Mountain Builders is currently upfitting both buildings on the site. Workers are reconfiguring the interior spaces for living quarters, installing sprinklers and plumbing, and finishing the exterior. The building facing Wilkesboro Boulevard will house the offices, training rooms, and bedrooms. The building in the rear will house the fire engine and other equipment.

Fire Chief Ken Hair hopes to open the station in June and have a grand opening ceremony July 1.

“We’re excited and looking forward to getting this station open,” Hair said. “We’ve been trying to add another station for decades. Now, we’ll have firefighters in the west side of town who can respond much quicker to the area. Station 3 will definitely enhance our service to the public.”

Once complete, Station 3 will be home to a battalion chief, four firefighters, and one fire engine. The station is closer to William Lenoir Middle School and Hibriten High School as well.

The City had planned to build a new station on Tremont Park Drive NE, but the initial bids came in way over budget. The project architect estimated the cost would be around $1.72 million. The lowest bid for the new station was $2.4 million. Given the increase, Council decided to take a different approach.

Staff approached Martin Family Motorplex LLC about buying the property on Wilkesboro Boulevard. The company had expressed interest in selling the property in the past. Staff worked out a land swap deal  between the City and Martin Family Motorplex.

Martin Family Motorplex agreed to buy the city-owned tract on Tremont Drive for $38,000. The City bought the Martin Family Motorplex property for $1,028,612. As part of the agreement, Martin Family Motorplex built an access road to Taylorsville Road and made stormwater improvements to the property. Staff plans to spend $549,000 or less to upfit the building, which includes building interior rooms, electrical, plumbing, sprinklers, HVAC, fixtures, furnishings, and equipment.

The total budget for Station 3 is $1,635,612, which is about $84,000 less that the initial plan. Staff hopes to come in under budget, which could reduce the final cost even more.

Blue Ridge Energy helped finance the project by providing a $1,360,000 zero-interest, 10-year loan to the City. Blue Ridge Energy secured the funding through the USDA’s Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant program. Read more at www.blueridgeenergy.com/news/article/141.

Photo by the Caldwell Journal
City Manager Scott Hildebran, right, Fire Chief Ken Hair, center, and Deputy Chief Kenny Nelson toured Station 3 Wednesday, April 3, 2019. Photo by the City of Lenoir
Workers add rock facing to a section of exterior wall that used to be a garage door. Photo by the City of Lenoir
Brushy Mountain Builders is upfitting one of the buildings to include living quarters, a meeting room, office space, a kitchen, and bathrooms. Photo by the City of Lenoir
Station 3 will contain five bedrooms to accommodate five staff per 24-hour shift. Photo by the City of Lenoir
The engine bay at Station 3 is fully enclosed and will house one fire engine and other equipment. (Tractor not included.) Photo by the City of Lenoir
Workers still have to install a new garage door on the engine bay. Photo by the City of Lenoir
Martin Family Motorplex LLC constructed an access road behind the station to Taylorsville Road. Staff will enter on the access road and exit onto Wilkesboro Boulevard. Photo by the City of Lenoir
Photo by the Caldwell Journal