A new fire station is coming soon to West Ashley.
The city of Charleston recently approved spending $1,623,370 on the fire station, which will be built on Bees Ferry Road, directly across from the entrance to Hickory Hill Plantation.
Fire Chief Rusty Thomas chose the location and said it will quicken response time in neighborhoods such as Shadowmoss, Grand Oaks, Village Green and MacLaura Hall.
"The city is further out now," said Thomas. "We need to grow along with the city."
The station will be about two and a half miles from the existing station on Ashley Hall Plantation Road, he said. It should cut the fire department's response time to some areas in half.
"Quick response on any kind of emergency call is a must. That's why this is so important," he said. "We need this station bad."
Engine No. 19 and its 12-person crew will move from the Ashley Hall Plantation Road station to the Bees Ferry Station. The Ashley Hall Plantation Road station will keep Engine No. 16. The new fire station will have two apparatus or fire truck bays, so that another truck can be added when necessary.
The new station will also include a waiting area and three offices for the police department. According to Thomas, one of the police department's sub stations in West Ashley will close and its officers will move to the Bees Ferry station.
The police and fire departments will man the station 24 hours per day. Thomas hopes it will become a community fire station with residents stopping by, bringing children and holding meetings, such as those of neighborhood associations, there.
The new fire station will be built of brick and corrugated metal siding with a standing seam metal roof, according to Steven H. Coe of Rosenblum Coe Architects Inc. Crepe myrtles and azaleas will join existing pine trees and live oaks around the one-story building.
Coe said construction should begin within the month. NBM Construction Co. Inc. will build the 7,500-square-foot building in approximately eight months, he said.