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Structural issues prompt need for new fire station

WILSON FIRE/RESCUE SERVICES

After firefighters had to relocate to an adjacent house due to structural issues, an engineer was called in to assess the city’s oldest fire station. The prognosis is not good.

“The question the chief asked was whether we can fix the building and reoccupy it,” engineer Bobby Joyner told the Wilson City Council during a recent meeting. “Considering all that needs to be done, you would almost have to rebuild it.”



Construction of Wilson Fire/Rescue Services Station No. 4, near the corner of Ward Boulevard and Forest Hills Road, was finished in 1963, and the facility that covers the Brentwood area is the city’s oldest station. Crews vacated it earlier this year due to air quality concerns.

“For now, the crews assigned to Station 4 are staying at the house behind the station,” said Fire Chief Albert Alston. “Travel time to any call in District 4 should not change.”

An 81-page assessment of the station revealed that an inadequate moisture barrier under the slab foundation allowed groundwater in, and settling of the building compromised parts of the plumbing system. Mitigating the issues would involve extensive repairs to the site — such as lifting the structure and replacing the soil — and the building itself.

“What is your opinion, Chief?” asked Councilman Tom Fyle.

“I think we should build a new station,” Alston said.

He said the department has some modern trucks that are too big or cannot fit in the bays at Station 4.

“We’re lucky we got 60 years out of it,” City Manager Grant Goings said of the station.

The cost to build a new station — including finding a parcel to relocate it — and demolish the current facility are unknown. Goings noted that the property could be repurposed with recreation facilities for the adjacent Greater Wilson Rotary Park.

Structural engineers have found significant issues at Wilson Fire/Rescue Services Station No. 4, which covers the area near Brentwood. Firefighters have been relocated next door while city officials determine a solution.  Brie Handgraaf | Times

Structural engineers have found significant issues at Wilson Fire/Rescue Services Station No. 4, which covers the area near Brentwood. Firefighters have been relocated next door while city officials determine a solution. Brie Handgraaf | Times

John D. Wilson was mayor when Fire Station 4 was built, a dedication plaque on the building notes.  Brie Handgraaf | Times

John D. Wilson was mayor when Fire Station 4 was built, a dedication plaque on the building notes. Brie Handgraaf | Times

Firefighters have relocated next door while city officials determine a solution to the problems at Wilson Fire/Rescue Services Station No. 4.  Brie Handgraaf | Times

Firefighters have relocated next door while city officials determine a solution to the problems at Wilson Fire/Rescue Services Station No. 4. Brie Handgraaf | Times

Structural engineers have found significant issues at Wilson Fire/Rescue Services Station No. 4, which covers the area near Brentwood. Firefighters have been relocated next door while city officials determine a solution.  Brie Handgraaf | Times

Structural engineers have found significant issues at Wilson Fire/Rescue Services Station No. 4, which covers the area near Brentwood. Firefighters have been relocated next door while city officials determine a solution. Brie Handgraaf | Times