- County Board approves purchase of two lots behind fire station
- Properties abutting Fire Station No. 8 property
- Lowest-cost option
- Will allow existing fuel island to stay on-site
The Arlington County Board today approved the purchase of two properties behind Fire Station No. 8, at 4845 Lee Highway, to locate a temporary fire station and firefighters during construction of a new Station No. 8.
The Board authorized purchase of 2211 North Culpepper Street and 2217 North Culpepper Street for a total cost of $1.68 million. The properties abut the existing fire station property.
The existing, newly built house at 2217 North Culpepper Street will temporarily house firefighters who serve at Station No. 8 while a new Station No. 8 is built. The County plans to demolish the house at 2211 North Culpepper Street to make room for the temporary fire station.
“The purchase of these two properties is the best solution of where to place a temporary fire station while we are rebuilding Station No. 8,” said Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey. “It will cost less to put a temporary station here than it would to rent land elsewhere for a temporary station.”
The Board voted 5 to 0 to approve the purchase of the two properties. To read the staff report, visit the County website. Scroll down to Item No. 43 on the agenda for the Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016 Recessed County Board Meeting.
The Board voted in July 2016 to accept the recommendation of the Fire Station No. 8 Task Force and build a new Fire Station No. 8 at its current location, 4845 Lee Highway. The County’s Real Estate Bureau has been searching for a location for a temporary fire station since then.
Station No. 8’s long, rich history
The existing Station No. 8, at the intersection of Lee Highway and North Culpepper Street, opened in 1963. As early as 1999, a study for the County Manager identified the station and three others in the County for possible “relocation, consolidation, replacement or closure” because it is on a “cramped site” and “poorly situated in relation to the heavy traffic on Lee Highway.” The history of the fire station, however, goes back much further, to 1918, when a group of volunteer firefighters formed in the Hall’s Hill area, an African American neighborhood that started as a home to many freed slaves.
In September 2015, the County Board appointed the Fire Station No. 8 Task Force, and charged it with reviewing options for the siting of Fire Station No. 8. The task force held hearings and met for five months.
In July, 2016, the County Board accepted the task force’s recommendations that Station No. 8 be rebuilt on its current site. Project planning for the new fire station is set to begin in early 2017. The construction of the temporary fire station is expected to begin in summer 2018, with construction for the new fire station expected to begin in 2019.