Norfolk Fire-Rescue Station #12, located at 1650 W. Little Creek Road, is 91 years old and has reached the end of its useful life. The average age of Fire-Rescue stations in Norfolk is 42.
Fire-Rescue response needs have expanded over the years to include areas like emergency medical service vehicles (ambulances) which were not contemplated when Station #12 was designed and built for horse-drawn fire wagons.
The Meadowbrook school site has been identified as the new location for Station #12.
The western portion of the site, directly across from the current Station #12 will house the new Station. The eastern portion, where the school currently stands, is planned to be a passive park.
The new station will include approximately 14,000 sq. ft., ADA Accessibility and 3 bays at a cost of $5.125 million. Demolition of the Meadowbrook school is expected to begin in late 2015 and conclude in the spring of 2016.
There are no current plans for the old Station 12.
A public meeting will be held in mid August wherein residents in the surrounding neighborhoods will be able to provide feedback on the architectural design of the new Station.
It should be noted that the city officials present at the meeting received significant feedback after the meaning of the term “passive park” was explained. In plain English, passive park means a grassy spot with no fence or recreational amenities. Adam Tharp, president of the Lochhaven Civic League, explained very forcefully that a passive park would not be acceptable to the community in light of the fact that the present Meadowbrook School athletic field has evolved into a heavily used city park with a large group of frequent users. This is going to be a very big issue at the August meeting, park users are already organizing in order to encourage the city to do the right thing and replace a much-loved park with an active, not a passive, park.
We are for the active park and for preserving the old station.
Thank you for the update Martin. Some in Meadowbrook wrote Council and asked that they demolish the school the same time they commence construction on the new firehouse. I hope this happens. Lori Crouch told me she is the Council liaison on this project. Lori wrote a few weeks ago the City’s abatement (i read asbestos) study is complete of the school. I hope this will be discussed at the public meeting as well as how the school demolition will be handled. I am among those who hope the city keeps the existing school yard fence and does not throw it away. It could provide a good barrier along Trouville Avenue and Shirland Avenue during construction. I’ve noticed in downtown, fencing is used around construction sites and then plywood is put in front of the fence to further reduce construction debris from coming into the streets. The park description sounds rather bare. I expressed my concern to Lori that I hope the park is not just left as bare ground or a large mud hole. The park, in my opinion will need landscaping, fencing and dirt. We may have to ask people to stay off the grounds while hopefully some grease will grow.Honestly the City is going to need to put down some dirt and grass. This brings me to another concern which is how will the City build a nick looking ‘fence’ for lack of a better word to clearly delineate the neighborhood from the park.Now there is an old white fence. Something like that would be fine by me. And parking . Will the parking for the firehouse and the parking for the park, be in the same area? I think the closer public parking can be to the firehouse parking, the better.
These are my thoughts for now. I have shared them with Lori, Harold Bell, John Domena, Andy Protogyrou and Barclay Winn – oh the City Manager too. My house is directly across the street from the school building, so I am heavily invested in what the City does.
Thanks. I hope our Civic League officers, Harold, John, etc. put this info up on the Neighborhood Network and send e mails to those Meadowbrook residents who don’t use the My Neighborhood Network.
Stay cool and thanks.