Forsyth County officials welcomed the start of work on a new Fire Station 3 during a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday.
Serving the Matt community in northwestern Forsyth, the new station on Wallace Tatum Road will replace the existing one on nearby Doctor Bramblett Road.
Fire Chief Danny Bowman said volunteers built the current building in 1981 and isn’t able to be occupied around the clock.
“If there was ever a need for a new fire station, such is the case with Company 3,” Bowman said. “There’s no delicate way of putting it. The old fire station is a barn.”
The new station, which will serve 816 area homes and businesses, should help lower both fire insurance ratings and emergency response times, he said.
The two-bay, 7,300-square-foot station was designed to be “modest” due to the economy, while also meeting the needs of the area for the next 50 years, Bowman said.
Funding for the project is coming from the current round of the 1-cent sales tax and impact fees paid by developers.
The construction is being handled by CRS Building Corporation for about $1.5 million.
The station is expected to be completed in early summer.
The site sits adjacent to about 180 acres that will become the future home of Matt Community Park, for which the county is in the conceptual stages of design.
Commission Chairman Jim Boff said the fire station will have increased bay capacity, 24-hour occupancy and a ventilation system.
“As we break ground for the new station today and move forward with its construction,” Boff said, “we are reaffirming the county’s commitment to providing the best public safety services possible to the residents of Forsyth County.”
Commissioner Patrick Bell, whose represents that area of the county, said he believes public safety is a core service of government and one of the most important that Forsyth provides.
He praised the fire department for its “professionalism and compassion” in its work.
After the firefighters and county officials scooped up the dirt where the station will soon stand, Bowman picked up the ceremonial shovel and planted it in the ground.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” he said, “your new fire home.”