LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - It’s been a topic of discussion for 13 years and now, construction at the Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting Station 2 at 17th and Bishop is well underway. Thursday, crews finished up roofing, prepared the exterior for paint & brick, and will soon pour the parking lot. These are much needed upgrades from the existing building.
“We started seeing slab problems and cracking," said Airport Director, Barbara McNally. "The fire trucks now are much larger than they were in the 1970′s. Pulling them in and out of the bays has been challenging, so it was time.”
It’s costing $4.4 million to replace the current station, but majority of the funds are coming from the FAA. But because the airport is frequented by soldiers, the Oklahoma Military Strategic Commission pitched in, along with the Comanche County Industrial Development Authority.
“It was a slow process getting federal funding and appropriate justifications to the FAA as to why we need to do it, but we finally got it together," McNally said. "We are looking forward to getting the new station up.”
The nearly 11,000 square foot fire station is a big step up from the current building, where firefighters are limited on space.
“We’re backing trucks in with two to three inches of clearance on either side," said Lieutenant Brent Baggett with the Lawton Fire Department. "Being able to drive through is one of the biggest aspects of this station is the drive through bays along with the new technology that comes with having a new station.”
Construction is expected to wrap up around the end of October, weather permitting. As for the current fire station, McNally says there is no plan for it just yet, but it will likely be torn down.