Former fire station given new life.

FAIRBORN — The former Fire Station 1 will soon be renovated and given new life and utility in the city of Fairborn.

In a city council meeting this Monday, City Manager Rob Anderson spoke to confirm the renovation of the station by Energy Systems Group (ESG) in the coming months. The renovation had been previously approved with a $2 million allotted fund.

“We solicited qualifications and Energy Systems Group was the clear choice,” said Anderson. “So I’m recommending we enter into a contract with them.”

The motion to adopt ESG as the organization contracted to undergo the renovation was quickly adopted by the council members, and discussions about design plans and potential uses for the historic fire station will be forthcoming. Currently, there is no specific use for the newly renovated building, but this will change in the coming months.

“We are about to start a process where we will solicit proposals from interested groups,” said Anderson, “and see which proposal has the most benefit to the city and the surrounding area.”

The $2 million comes from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and is the maximum amount allotted for this renovation, however, the project may cost less than the allowed amount. Council members made clear a mission to be efficient with the generous amount of resources at their disposal for this project. The ARPA is a COVID-19 relief plan from the federal government designed to help Americans and rescue the economy.

“The firehouse is one of those iconic buildings in Fairborn that we are trying got keep relevant and keep purposeful,” said Councilman Clint Allen. “This is one of those areas where the citizens wanted this, so I think it’s important that we go ahead and invest it and invest it right.”

These sentiments were echoed by the council, including Fairborn Mayor Paul Keller.

“I think its important that we preserve this building in some way so it can be useful again,” he said. “I think its an important way to spend the money.”

As council gets closer to finalizing a new design, details regarding the energy efficiency of the new building will likely be revealed. For now, Anderson mentioned they are looking in to solar paneling on the roof.

“They are going to look for as much energy efficiency as we can possibly afford and include in the project,” said Anderson regarding solar panelling and other options for energy efficiency.

As for the time until the renovation is complete, it could take up to two years.

After the contract with ESG is finalized, a new contract must be made with the organization best fit to occupy the renewed space. This finalization alone could take months, and must all happen before ESG can begin to renovate the fire station.

“My guess is the renovation will take 12 to 18 months,” Anderson said.

Citizens have expressed a desire to see the old fire station given new life and many see this is the first of many steps the city will make to bring new life not just to the station, but to the city as a whole.