OPELIKA, Ala. – Friday, the City of Opelika will be breaking ground on a new era for the Opelika Fire Department.
They will break ground on fire station headquarters at the corner Avenue B and 7th Street, right next to Opelika City Hall. The new station will replace the current headquarters, which was built in 1961.
The new station will be two stories tall, and will be more than 13,000 square feet. It will have four large bays for emergency vehicles. Fire Chief Byron Prather said that it will also allow all department members (inspection, training, ems) to be under the same roof.
Chief Prather said that this new station will help the day to day operations run smoother as well as boost morale in the department.
“I’ve spent my whole life, just about my whole career here,” Chief Prather said. “We’ve had a lot of guys before me come through the fire service and retire through this station. We’ll be saying goodbye to an old friend, but with the prospects of a new station, we’re looking forward to having a new friend.”
Construction on the project is supposed to start on January 30, and the project has a $2.9 million price tag, it is a budgeted line item and the city will not be borrowing any funds for the project. It is slated to be completed by November 30.