NORMAN — After spring storms delayed construction, the long-awaited Fire Station No. 9 at 3001 E. Alameda Drive is almost ready to begin making runs.
Norman Fire Chief James Fullingim reported to the Citizens Public Safety Oversight Committee last week that the station is a week or two away from being ready to respond to calls.
The station will immediately begin providing relief for stations No. 1 and 3, which are currently Norman’s two busiest stations. The station was originally estimated to be completed in May and then it was moved back to June, but July should bring better fortune.
“One thing that really hampered us was the two tornadoes,” said Deputy Fire Chief Jim Bailey.
Power problems caused some of the delay in construction. Bailey said it took them about six weeks to get power to the new facility; and without power there were some things they could just not do.
Station 9 will be Norman’s largest station and nearly identical to Station 8, Bailey said. Some of the things the city’s newest stations will share include a LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).
The certification basically means the facility will be very cost efficient utility-wise and was constructed in an environmentally safer way. The LEED performance categories include site selection and treatment, water efficiency, energy use, materials selected and indoor environmental quality.
So far, 80 to 90 percent of all construction waste has been diverted from landfills, Bailey said. While Station 8 earned a LEED gold certification, Station 9 is aiming to earn a silver certification, he said.
The design of the stations are also something that was taken into consideration for not only the firefighters, but also the neighborhoods the stations are located in. Bailey said the stations fit in with the neighborhoods and they blend in with their surroundings.
As for the interior, the stations both have a more open design in the day room and kitchen areas, there are separate bathrooms and also separate kitchen pantries for each of the fire crews. The living quarters were also placed closer to the fire trucks since that’s where firefighters spend a majority of their time at the station, Bailey said.
A switch from separate bunks to one room with several beds was also made with the stations because many felt the divided rooms resulted in a loss of camaraderie, he said.
Other things the station features includes a locker room, weight room, training room, separate captain’s quarters and two offices that will be available for Norman police officers to fill out reports.