Mobile Fire-Rescue Department Capt. Jay Nicholson is tired of being the source of folks olfactory distress. So, he must’ve been pleased as the walls of the Spring Hill Fire Station began to fall, taking with them moisture and mildew that would stick to firefighters’ clothes.
“I grew up at this station,” he said. “I’ve been here 14 years. Any time you go home you’ll hear ‘what’s that smell?’ Cologne doesn’t cover it up.”
The unsafe conditions, including the aforementioned mildew, of the station built in 1957 led city officials to pay for the design and future construction of a new station on the same footprint as the old one at 500 Museum Drive within the Village of Spring Hill area.
“It’s a beautiful station,” MFRD Chief Mark Sealy said of the design of the new building. “However, our primary concern is that it’s a safe place.”
Among the amenities of the new station, which include a new door style that allows them to open more quickly, Sealy specifically mentioned a so-called “clean gear room,” where gear can be washed and protected from sunlight.
The amenities are new and much-needed for the firefighters, Councilwoman Gina Gregory said during the event.
Mayor Sandy Stimpson told the media at a press conference that this new station helps fulfill a promise he made to continue to replace older fire stations throughout the city. Stimpson’s administration has recently cut the ribbon on a new station in Crichton, as well.
In addition to providing state-of-the-art technology for the firefighters who make it their second home, the new station will also provide aesthetic elements meant to better fit in with the neighborhood around it. Linda St. John, president of the Village of Spring Hill group, said the city has agreed to construct a porch-area and a butterfly garden outside of the station. She also said the area closest to the McGregor Avenue roundabout would become a park.
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