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Dedication Planned for New Cherrydale Fire Station

by ARLnow.com July 13, 2011 at 9:58 am 4,145 52 Comments

Update at 3:40 p.m. — County officials say that the actual cost of the fire station, including land swaps, road work and construction, is about $18 million. About $7.3 million of that was to design, build and furnish the station.

A dedication and open house is planned for the new, $5.3 million Cherrydale Fire Station.

The fire station will be dedicated on Friday, July 29, officials announced yesterday. A family-friendly open house will be held on Saturday, July 30, complete with guided tours of the new facility.

Located at 4100 Old Dominion Drive, the station features four bays for emergency equipment, gender-neutral living facilities for firefighters, a public green space and an anticipated LEED Silver environmental design.

County Board Chairman Chris Zimmerman called the station “state of the art” and “quite handsome” at Tuesday’s County Board meeting.

Photo via Fire (Station) in the Hole blog

  • BerryBerryCold

    $5.3 million of (mostly) borrowed dollars for a fire station is a farce.

    • DK

      So you’re suggestion is that they just shut down the old station, not build a new one, and hope that the firefighters and equipment from Station 3 aren’t needed?

      • BerryBerryCold

        Come on here, let’s use some common sense — and eat our peas.

        $5.3 million for a fire station is an insane amount of money, no matter how you look at it.

        • DK

          Based on what? Do you even have any idea what goes into a fire station? These men and women live there 24 hours every shift so they need an industrial kitchen, sleeping quarters, showers, equipment bays, a communications room and more.

          • AllenB

            And I understand that the technology requirements are huge.

          • BerryBerryCold

            Correct. Garage door openers and fire poles are bleeding edge 21st century technology.

          • samsonite

            Wow, so you just dig the hole deeper!

            You don’t know what you’re talking about. You don’t know what’s in that fire station. You don’t know how much it ought to cost. You are the reason critics of government spending have no credibility and get laughed out of the room when they are actually confronted by reality.

          • BerryBerryCold

            Educate me then, samsonite. Explain how a fire station costs $5.3 million. Because to the average Joe, it looks like a lot of money for a place to park their trucks and to live/sleep.

          • samsonite

            I have no idea how much a fire station should cost.

            My point is that you don’t either. Which you’re now admitting. Yeah, to the average Joe it looks like alot, but the average Joe doesn’t know a damn thing about how much it should be. And most average Joes are smart enough to realize that they don’t know, and go find out, instead of just jerking their knee.

            Don’t go spewing opinions about something you know nothing about.

          • Arlington, Northside

            Even holding back on labor costs and a reasonable profit for the contractor, has Berry looked at building supply costs lately? Concrete, block, steel, wireing, plumbing, all built to a very strict international building code, these things ain’t cheap.

          • samsonite

            “has Berry looked at building supply costs lately?”

            Of course not. He looked at a number and thought, “wow, that’s a big number. I can’t count that high so it must be too much.”

        • samsonite

          So you’ve researched the average cost of a fire station and factored in local variations in cost and the particular equipment and size of this station, adjusting for them?

          Or you’re just pulling something completely out of your rear based on absolutely nothing, as usual?

          • DK


          • AllenB


            BerryBerryCold = Frequently wrong but never in doubt.

          • Burger

            I would guess given that it has taken 15 years to get this station built because site was never considered ideal that some of the 18 million to build this palace was wasted.

          • Josh S

            BBC, having been sent away, tags his buddy, Burger, who will now play the part of the indignant “average Joe” who doesn’t know what he’s talking about…..

    • AllenB

      And you have intimate knowledge of how much a firestation SHOULD cost?

    • It’s only the cost of about 5-10 houses in the adjacent neighborhood. Seems like a reasonable price

      • BerryBerryCold

        There is a difference between the market cost of those houses and what the build cost is.

        Million dollar houses in Arlington do not cost a million dollars to build.

      • samsonite

        Where did you get that figure? Did you just make it up off the top of your head?

        • samsonite

          P.S. Never mind – I put this comment in the wrong place. Please disregard.

    • JB

      Assuming that this firehouse is functional for the next 100 years(the existing one is well over 100 y/o), then you are talking about……get ready…….
      $143 dollars a day…….
      Considering you have one of the best trained and equipped fire departments in the country, this is a pretty good deal for you.

      • Stu Pendus

        And since there are about 210,000 people in Arlington, that works out to….roughly 25 cents / year for each of us.

        Can I just mail my check in each year?

      • John Stephens

        The current firehouse opened in 1920. 91 years old, not well over 100.

        • JB

          You are correct. My error. It was actually 1919.

          Now the cost is up to $157 dollars a day based on a 92 y/o lifespan…

          • John Stephens

            The cornerstone was laid in 1919. The station opened in 1920.

      • BerryBerryCold

        It’s not as simple as that.

        First you have the opportunity cost of money. Then you have the borrowing cost of money. Then you have the operating costs of this facility.

        • JB

          Thanks Captain Obvious.

      • Burger

        So once its built it never cost another dime?

        I’m not really arguing that one should have been built but there was absolutely no reason for it to take 15 years. this project is the eptiome of too many cooks in kitchen.

  • wilbur

    Um. I live pretty close to that fire station. I have had my home saved by Arl firefighters before. No farce. THANK YOU ARLINGTON. We have some of the best firefighters and police in the area.

    What is going to happen to the old station?

    • Hopefully they raze it. It’s butt ugly.

      • John Stephens


      • Arlington, Northside

        The old Fire House is a classic. If the volunteers can not afford the upkeep, it would be a worthy thing for the county tax dollars to take care of. Hopefully it will become a fire museum for the county and surrounding area.

      • John

        I’ve heard that President Wilson was at the dedication of the firehouse. Maybe he had lunch there also, after the ceremony.

        • John Stephens

          President Wilson bought a brick, which were being sold as a fundraiser for the ‘new’ fire station. He was not present at the dedication.

          • Mason

            What did he do with it?

          • John Stephens

            I suppose ‘buying’ a brick is the inappropriate term. ‘Sponsoring’ is probably better. The bricks are now a part of the building.

    • Mittendorf

      I would like to know too, what they plan to do to the old station. If there was a developer who does rehabs and historic preservation, that would be a great place to put restaurant or retail or Cherrydale community center. It would be a shame to lose another little piece of history. So much of the new development in the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor have changed the landscape of the area for the better. I’m sure that there was a gem here or there that could’ve been preserved. I’ve been here for 20 years and it’s amazing to see the evolution. Does anyone know what the plan is?

  • ArlingtonNative

    Considering the specialized construction, mechanicals, LEED construction requirements, etc. – for a fire station, and that houses and condos in N. Arl are going up that are
    well north of the $1M price-tag – the $5.3M sounds more like a bargain … and no, I am NOT a proponent of big govt spending.

    • Lou

      Let’s just kill this notion that the market price for housing in Arlington has anything to do with the cost to build a building.

      You’re right about the unique type of construction a fire station requires though.

  • edobson

    The old station is owned by the Cherrydale Volunteer Fire Department and they are a private organization. They have been renting a “bay” to Arlington County for many years.
    This station is an important addition to the community and those who need emergency services.

    • Not anymore.

    • SeanO

      Actually, the Fire Department has been leasing the entire 1st floor of the building from the volunteers. The ACFD staffs that station & runs the calls.
      With the opening of the new Fire Station 3, ACFD will have a state of the art facility to provide service to the people of Arlington County.
      Arlington has committed to provide some of the best facilities & equipment to the Fire Department in exchange for the high level of service the people of Arlington County have come to know.

  • Joe

    As a resident of North Arlington for the past 36 years, and someone who lives mere yards from the new station, I couldn’t be more pleased. I used to work in Cherrydale, too, and the volunteer Fire Department always seemed to do a great job to me.

    Okay, so the old station is 91 years old, so if the new station is in operation at least that long, that’s a cost of just over $58K/year, obviously not counting ongoing operating costs. Even assuming that the population of Arlington never exceeds 210,000 residents, then that works out to $0.27-$0.28/year per resident over that 91 years.

    If I remember correctly, that property was unused, and zoned for commercial or industrial use, so a modern fire station is an excellent use of that property.

    For anyone criticizing Arlington County spending money to improve its response to fires and other disasters, I say please ask the families of the victims of the Pentagon attack on 09/11/01 if this is a so-called “wasteful” expenditure; Arlington County FD responded to that, and I’m willing to bet that on that day, they wished they had even more and better equipment.

    Thanks, Arlington County. I’ll sleep better at night knowing that you’re working to help keep us all safe.

    • Nooner

      Joe, you may also be happy to know that with the new station, I belive, you will see additional capability. With the added space, over the single bay station, you see the additon of a medic unit and possibly some sort of command staff like a battalion chief or EMS captain.

  • Eyesofarl

    hey berry, MOVE, and see what the service is like in other places you whiny bitch

  • Stu Pendus

    For reference, I believe the new fire station for Tenleytown on Wisconsin was completed for about $7.5million, which was over estimates. It’s a similar sized station.

    • Arlington, Northside

      And the Tenleytown Fire House took about three times as long as estimated as well.

  • jjbug

    I like the supportive comments on this new fire station but I have nervousness about how those trucks can peel out L/R onto a major traffic route in Arlington. It will take natives some time to figure out how to react to the fire signals as they sit on Lee Highway or Quincy St/ Military Rd hearing the sirens but controlled by complex traffic lights. I hope the firetrucks can blast thru to the emergency!

    • John Stephens

      They do it right now on the opposite side of that intersection with no problem. I don’t think this will be an issue.

  • Bob

    It’s seems a lot of it is tied to the Koon’s car dealership and land rights. I don’t really know. It’s going to be another red light before the major intersection. Traffic will be a mess (just think about when Koons or Browns has their off-load trucks blocking one lane). I have no idea how the emergency vehicles will get by if they’re headed toward that intersection during rushhour or back the other way during late rush hour — there will be no place for us to move out of their way. Now think about that — “us” is you and me.

    I’ll attend the open session because I’m curious. I must say that if I have an emergency, I’d like those wonderful people to be there quickly. Folks seem to complain a lot in Arlington — about everything. We’re all selfish that way.

    When you get a chance, think about the people that keep us safe, protect us and help us and sometimes save us. I hope that puts a little bit of the $ in perspective for you..


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