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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Plans approved for new Bailey's Crossroads fire station

A drawing of the new fire station
Plans have been approved for a new fire station in Bailey’s Crossroads to replace the building damaged during a snowstorm in February 2010. Heavy snowfall caused the roof to collapse, and a temporary tent-like structure has protected the station’s vehicles since then.

Construction of a new, larger fire station is expected to be completed in spring or summer 2014, said Dennis Holder, project manager with the Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services, at a briefing to members of the Bailey’s Crossroads Revitalization Corporation Nov. 15.

The county had determined that the existing building, constructed in 1974, is too small and outdated, and should be replaced rather than fixed. A bigger station is needed to serve future population growth in the area.

The new $6 million building will have 17,000 square feet of space, while the current building has just 11,000. It will have four apparatus bays—two of them drive through.

A temporary, pre-fab structure will be installed at 3521 Moncure Ave. to house the firefighters and vehicles while the new station is being built, Holder said. The site of the existing station, at 3601 Firehouse Lane and Columbia Pike, isn’t big enough for both the temporary building and new construction project. The modular structure will be brought to the site from Great Falls, where it serving a similar purpose. Construction will start next summer and it should be ready for occupancy by the end of 2012 or early 2013.

The Moncure Avenue site is owned by the county and is currently vacant, although there are future plans for a six-story, mixed-use building there to house county offices.

Funding for the temporary building and planning for the new station is included in the county’s 2012-16 capital improvement program. Construction costs for the new building will be covered in a public safety bond, which will go before voters in November 2012. If the bond fails to pass, which is considered unlikely, the project would be delayed.

The Bailey’s Crossroads Volunteer Fire Department agreed to convey the existing building and property to the county. The volunteers own all the trucks and equipment except the ladder truck.