Harris County Emergency Services District No. 9, which manages the CFVFD budget and is overseeing the construction process, has arranged for the Harris County Fire Marshal to inspect the building Nov. 20.
"We don't anticipate any problems," District Architect Ricardo Martinez told ESD commissioners at a Nov. 15 meeting. "After they do the walk, if it does pass inspection, we will be assuming substantial completion."
Fire Chief Amy Ramon said she hopes to have firefighters stationed at the new location by the end of November or first week of December, pending the installation of coaxial cable lines.
The new station—located at 7188 Cherry Park Drive, Houston—is actually a relocation of the existing Station No. 9, which is currently at 7922 Hwy. 6, Houston. The discussion to relocate Station No. 9 has been ongoing for several years, Ramon said.
The existing station is on land owned by Harris County Water Control and Improvement District No. 145, whereas the new station is on land owned by the ESD, Ramon said. When the discussion first arose to renovate Station No. 9, former CFVFD board members thought it made more sense to build a station on their own land before making millions of dollars of investments.
"It’s an investment for the ESD for the future,” Ramon said. "The [firefighters] are getting an actual brick building. Right now they are in a metal building, so it’s substantially stronger and will be more resilient for them in storms."
The new station will house a fire engine, ladder truck and ambulance, which is the same setup used at the current Hwy. 6 station, Ramon said.
The opening of Station No. 9 is the last of three projects the ESD took on in 2016 for new or relocated stations. The new Station No. 13 opened in the Bridgeland area in August, and Station No. 2 opened at its new location on Wortham Center Drive in April.
Plans for additional stations are in the works, and Commissioner Tommy Balez has said in past interviews the ESD needs to construct another six or seven stations to catch up to where it needs to be based on growth within the service area.
In other news from the November meeting, the ESD is preparing to receive construction bids Nov. 29 for a new administration building to be located at 10710 Telge Road, Houston. Officials hope to review bids and present them to commissioners at the December meeting.