NORTH RIDGEVILLE — The city’s new fire station provides firefighters a larger, updated space.
Problems plagued the old station, which had a leaky roof and mold and asbestos.
Chief John Reese said the department also was out of room in the smaller fire station, particularly as North Ridgeville has continued to grow.
The new station on Ranger Way near the high school, which is about four times larger than the old station, was celebrated Saturday.
It has gear storage, space for the department’s equipment, a larger classroom for weekly training and a decontamination room to clean equipment, which the old station did not have.
It also includes living and eating quarters, where firefighters previously had a mobile home as living space.
Reese said the building “means everything to us.”
He said firefighters will be able to provide more services and help people who come to the door for medical issues.
Reese said the department hopes to hold food clinics and other services in the future.
Voters approved a 20-year, 0.84-mill bond issue in November 2015 to raise $8.1 million for the construction of a new fire station.
Mayor David Gillock recognized the community for passing the levy.
“As you tour the facility, I’m sure you’ll wonder how they ever functioned in the old building,” Gillock said. “We now have a fire station we can be proud of that will serve the needs of our community well into the future.”
City Council President Kevin Corcoran and Ward 3 Councilman Bruce Abens presented a miniature firetruck at the grand opening ceremony.
“It’s been said that a city’s fire station displays the strength of a community and the community’s dedication to safety,” he said. “I believe that you’ll see that this new facility appropriately displays our community’s strength.”
The old fire station on Avon Belden Road was built in 1957 for a volunteer fire department and had an addition constructed in 1981. The fire department served fewer than 8,000 residents in 1957, and now serves about 37,000 residents.
A second fire station was built in 1974 to serve the city’s south side.
The new station will serve as a headquarters and will house two fire companies.
Architectural firm Mull and Weithman designed the headquarters, which is about 23,000 square feet — four times the size of the old station.
The fire station’s original April opening was delayed by wet weather. Its first full operating day will be Monday.
The fire department also will receive two new firetrucks next year.