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New Norwalk fire house ready for occupancy

Norwalk Fire Station 002-20130516
Construction of the new Norwalk Fire House continues last May. Firefighters are moving in on schedule next week.

NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk firefighters are expected this week to move back onto the Connecticut Avenue property they had occupied for years, but into a new structure, a brand spanking new, $16 million firehouse.

Fire administration personnel are moving in Tuesday, Norwalk Fire Chief Denis McCarthy said last week. Firefighters are moving in Friday, making it an active firehouse.

Construction of the striking facility at 121 Connecticut Ave. began more than a year ago, in June 2012. It replaces the Volk Fire Station, which was built in 1963 and was had become increasingly dilapidated, city officials said. Fixing the old fire station and making it energy efficient would have been prohibitively expensive, officials said.

While Common Councilman and former Democratic mayoral candidate Matt Miklave called the new station a “monstrosity” and the “Taj Mahal,” the project gained nearly unanimous, bipartisan support from the Common Council when final plans were presented in 2011.

There was talk of buying property in another part of town for a new firehouse but officials decided instead to squeeze everything they need onto the existing lot with a three-story structure that includes a new, high-tech emergency operations center on the third floor paid for with a federal grant. The bottom floor includes a training facility for firefighters. The training wall features a 2-inch-thick slab of steel from the World Trade Center, the city’s website says.

A ribbon cutting for the new station is expected in early October.

McCarthy said the flag will go up Friday. He said, “It’s not a firehouse until the flag flies.”

Fire HQ interior 4.30.13_201305061256411757

Comments

4 responses to “New Norwalk fire house ready for occupancy”

  1. Bruce Kimmel

    It’s not as large as people might think. After factoring out the on-site training facility and the emergency IT center, it is only a tad larger than the old station. Remember, the old HQ had a basement; this one doesn’t.

  2. Suzanne

    Historically, firehouses, performing an essential function on behalf of a neighborhood and/or city region, were built to be not only extremely efficient for the task but also architecturally distinctive. I hope that this building provides both. That it cost $16 million dollars? Compare that cost to the savings in damages or loss of life that fire personnel will secure in the next few years. The emergency center alone will pay for itself in due time. Coming from the West, fire personnel are considered heroes (not perfect human beings, mind you), for the work that they do on our behalf. I am glad Norwalk’s “first responders” will be well-prepared for our community to do their essential work.

  3. Tobias

    I’m very happy that my tax money is being spent on something that is of so much use to the city and my family… Instead of going into a budgetary abyss of a shortfall and hence someone’s pocket.
    Firefighters and Police Officers put their lives on the line with every call they head out to. I’m glad that both services have work places that are up to date and fit their needs. Keep us safe!

  4. Dee

    Congratulations to our Firemen.
    Long,long, very long overdue.
    Looking forward to open house.
    Who is bringing the popcorn?

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