The city of Lawrence broke Aug. 23 ground on the new Fire Station 38. Local government officials and construction and design crews participated in the ceremonial dig. The station is the first new station in Lawrence in 35 years.
The station is projected to open by early fall 2023.
The 17,700-square-foot building at 4450 McCoy St. will include a five-bay apparatus area, 14-dorm living area, two day rooms, a kitchen, fitness area, turnout gear room, workshop, laundry and a decontamination area.
Garmong Construction is building the station. Delv Design, JQOL Engineering, JPS Consulting Engineers and Applied Engineering Services are part of the team creating the new station.
Station 38 originally housed a volunteer unit and went through several renovations when it became a full-time station.
“When we finally got the funds approved for Station 38, it was a key moment for public safety,” Lawrence Mayor Steve Collier said.
The new station will have no impact on residents’ property taxes, according to Collier.
Lawrence Fire Dept. Chief Dino Batalis referred to the station as a home for his firefighters because they spend more than one-third of their lives at the station.
“This is the first time a station has been built with firefighter input,” Batalis said. “I think it’s very important firefighters have a say-so in where they live.”
A unique part of the station, according to Batalis, is the decontamination center and room for gear. Both are vented to the outside. Firefighters are often exposed to hazardous and cancer causing elements.
“This is to make sure that this is safe and efficient for everyone,” Batalis said. “We’re very grateful the mayor and controllers have the vision to keep moving this city forward.”
Ladder 38 is the busiest ladder in Marion County.
“It says so much about how the city is progressing,” Collier said. “I’m real proud of not only the team who put this together but the firefighters as well.”