NORMAN — Construction has started on Fire Station No. 9 on Alameda Street, east of 24th Avenue SE.
Workers have cleared the 10-acre site and poured concrete for the 15,200-square-foot station that officials hope will improve response times on the east side and alleviate the workload of a downtown fire station, which is the main responder to fires and emergencies in that area, Fire Chief James Fullingim said.
With the recent wildfires that ravished southeastern Cleveland County, the need for a new station is apparent, Fullingim said.
The resources of all eight fire stations have been taxed to the maximum in the past week, the fire chief said.
The ninth station is being modeled after Fire Station No. 8 on 36th Avenue NW, just north of Tecumseh Road, which is the first station in the state to be LEED-certified. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.
The westside fire station that opened in 2011 has received national recognition for its environmental and energy-saving features. The station was awarded gold level certification by the U.S. Green Building Council, which sponsors an internationally recognized green building certification system.
The eastside station will be built to the same green standards, Fullingim said, which means it will use 30 percent less energy and 50 percent less water than a conventionally built station, saving the city thousands of dollars in energy and water costs.
Kirkpatrick Architecture Studio of Denton, Texas, a nationally known firm that specializes in LEED construction, designed both stations. Atlas General Contractors is under contract to build Fire Station No. 9.
Public safety sales tax money will fund the new $3.8 million station, which is expected to be ready in about a year.