Site preparation work started this week for a new headquarters station for Spokane County Fire Protection District No. 10 on the West Plains.
The new $1.3 million station is scheduled to open by May 15, said district Chief Dick Gormley.
It will include administrative offices, a larger training area and three bays big enough to hold six fire rigs.
The larger station is needed to serve the developing areas around Airway Heights, Spokane International Airport and the unincorporated areas west of the Spokane city limits, Gormley said.
“A lot of change has happened, and we are changing with it,” he said.
The district is building its new 12,000-square-foot station at the northwest corner of U.S. Highway 2 and Garfield Road.
The site is inside the city of Airway Heights on land being developed by Metropolitan Mortgage & Securities Co. as the Airway Heights Business Center.
Construction inside Airway Heights means that sewer, water, natural gas and telephone utilities are already available. That reduced construction costs by as much as $75,000, Gormley said.
Also, the site is centrally located along major roadways in the fire district.
Financing for the district is coming from a construction account set up by the district’s fire commissioners over the years and through revenue bonds being sold by the district. Those bonds will be redeemed through existing tax collections, Gormley said.
Gormley said District 10 has seen a lot of industrial and commercial growth in the past several years.
District 10, Airway Heights, the city of Spokane and the airport fire department have agreements to cooperate with each other on large fire calls.
Boeing, two produce suppliers, an auto auction, air express businesses and commercial developments near the Geiger interchange with Interstate 90 are some of the larger taxpayers in the district.
Currently the district offices are housed in a station at 9921 W. Trails Road northeast of Airway Heights. There are three other stations scattered around the district.
The district covers an area of 99 square miles. It is roughly bounded by Seven Mile and Coulee Hite Road to the north, Espanola to the west, Thorpe Road to the south and the Spokane city limits to the east. About 6,000 people live in the district.
Garco Construction of Spokane has the contract for the new station.
The district currently has four full-time fire staff members, plus 72 volunteers and several student residents who are studying fire science courses at Spokane Community College and working for the district.
A new group of 11 volunteer recruits is being trained to join the force, Gormley said.
In all, the district has 20 fire rigs, including four large pumper engines.
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