Fire station situation is dire

DALLAS -- The Dallas City Council has authorized city staff to contract with Robertson-Sherwood Architects to revise a 2004 fire station renovation plan.

DALLAS -- The Dallas City Council has authorized city staff to contract with Robertson-Sherwood Architects to revise a 2004 fire station renovation plan.

In 2004 the city council placed a bond before city voters to fund a complete renovation of the fire hall and build a brand new police station.

The bond was defeated, and plans were altered. Instead of building a new police station, the city renovated the old Itemizer-Observer print shop on the west side of City Hall and expanded into the space.

The new wing tripled office space available to the cramped police department, but it did nothing for the fire department.

The Dallas fire station needs renovation to bring it up to seismic safety standards and allow staff to accommodate the growing need for volunteer training.

Fire Chief Bill Hahn and staff wrote a detailed "white paper" that filled 15 pages (with two more pages devoted to ambulance service) to make it clear that the current facility is reaching dire straits. In their conclusion, the paper's authors wrote:

"This building has served the community for 35 years. In order to serve the community for additional years, corrections must be done. The facility is centrally located in the community for response to emergency incidents. As the community continues to grow in population and geographic area, a substation or two will be needed, and property should be acquired to meet those needs. However, for the present, upgrades are essential to preserve this facility."

Copies of the fire department report are available at Dallas City Hall, 187 SE Court Street.

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